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Translated by 
John Macquarrie & Edward Robinson 



Oxford UK * Cambridge USA 


This translation copyright © Blackwell Publishers Ltd 1962 

First English edition 1962 
Reprinted 1967, 1973, 1978, 1980, 1983, 1985, 1987, 1988, 
1990, 1992, 1993, 1995 (twice), 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000 (twice), 2001 

Translated from the German 
Sein und Zeit (seventh edition) 
by permission of 
Max Niemeyer Verlag, Tubingen 

British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data 
A CIP catalogue record for this book 
is available from the British Library 

0-631-19770-2 (pbk) 

Printed and bound in Great Britain 
by MPG Books Ltd, Bodmin, Cornwall 

Dedicated to 

Blackwell Publishers Ltd 
108 Cowley Road 
Oxford OX4 1JF,UK 


in friendship and admiration 

Todtnauberg in Baden, Black Forest 

8 April igs6 

This book is printed on acid-free paper. 


[Page references marked *//* indicate the pagination of the later German editions, as shown in the 
outer margins of the text.] 

Translators' Preface 13 

Author's Preface to the Seventh German Edition 17 


Exposition of the Question of the Meaning of Being h. 2 21 

I. The Necessity, Structure, and Priority of the 

Question of Being h. 2 21 

1 . The necessity for explicitly restating the question of 

Being h. 2 21 

2. The formal structure of the question of Being h. 5 24 

3. The ontological priority of the question of Being h. 8 28 

4. The ontical priority of the question of Being h. 1 1 32 

II. The Twofold Task in Working Out the Question 

of Being. Method and Design of our investigation h. 15 36 

5. The ontological analytic of Dasein as laying bare 
the horizon for an Interpretation of the meaning of 

Being in general h. 15 36 

6. The task of Destroying the history of ontology h. 19 41 

7. The phenomenological method of investigation h. 1 7 49 

a. The concept of phenomenon h. 27 51 

b. The concept of the logos h. 32 55 

c. The preliminary conception of phenomenology h. 34 58 

8. Design of the treatise h. 39 63 

Part One 

The Interpretation of Dasein in Terms of Temporality, and the 
Explication of Time as the Transcendental Horizon for the 
Question of Being 


I. Exposition of the Task of a Preparatory Analysis 

of Dasein h. 41 67 

9. The theme of the analytic of Dasein h. 41 67 

8 Being and Time 

10. How the analytic of Dascin is to be distinguished 

from anthropology, psychology, and biology H. 45 71 

11. The existential analytic and the Interpretation of 
primitive Dasein. The difficulties of achieving a 

'natural conception of the world' h. 50 76 

II. Being-in-the-world in General as the basic state 

of Dasein 

12. A preliminary sketch of Being-in-the-world, in 
terms of an orientation towards Being-in as such 

13. A founded mode in which Being-in is exemplified. 
Knowing the world 

III. The Worldhood of the World 

14. The idea of the worldhood of the world in general 

a. Analysis of environmentally and worldhood in general 

15. The Being of the entities encountered in the en- 

16. How the worldly character of the environment 
announces itself in entities within-the-world 

17. Reference and signs 

18. Involvement and significance: the worldhood of 
the world 

b. A contrast between our analysis of worldhood and 
Descartes' Interpretation of the world 

19. The definition of the 'world' as res ex tens a 

20. Foundations of the ontological definition of the 

21. Hermeneutical discussion of the Cartesian ontology 
of the 'world' 

c. The aroundness of the environment, and Dasein 9 s spatiality 

22. The spatiality of the ready-to-hand within-the-world 

23. The spatiality of Being-in-the-world 

24. Space, and Dasein's spatiality 

IV. Being-in-the-world as Being-with and Being- 

one's-self. The 'They' h. 113 149 

25. An approach to the existential question of the 

"who" of Dasein h. 114 150 

26. The Dasein-with of Others, and everyday Being- 
with h. 117 153 

27. Everyday Being-one's-Self and the "they" h. 126 163 


5 2 


























1 14 



















H. IO4 





Contents g 

V. Being-in AS SUCH 

28. The task of a thematic analysis of Being-in H. 130 169 
a. The existential Constitution of the "there" h. 134 172 

29. Being-there as state-of-mind h. 134 172 

30. Fear as a mode of state-of-mind H. 140 179 

31. Being-there as understanding h. 142 182 

32. Understanding and interpretation h. 148 188 

33. Assertion as a derivative mode of interpretation h. 153 195 

34. Being-there and discourse. Language h. 160 203 
b. The everyday Being of the "there", and the falling 

of Dasein h. 166 210 

35. Idle talk h. 167 211 

36. Curiosity h. 170 214 

37. Ambiguity h. 173 217 

38. Falling and thrownness h. 175 219 

VI. Care as the Being of Dasein h. 180 225 

39. The question of the primordial totality of 

Dasein's structural whole h. 180 225 

40. The basic state-of-mind of anxiety as a distinc- 
tive way in which Dasein is disclosed h. 184 228 

41. Dasein's Being as care h. 191 235 

42. Confirmation of the existential Interpretation of 
Dasein as care in terms of Dasein's pre-onto- 

logical way of interpreting itself h. 196 241 

43. Dasein, worldhood, and Reality h. 200 244 

(a) Reality as a problem of Being, and whether 

the 'external world' can be proved h. 202 246 

(b) Reality as an ontological problem h. 209 252 

(c) Reality and care h. 211 254 

44. Dasein, disclosedness, and truth h. 212 256 

(a) The traditional conception of truth, and its 
ontological foundations H. 214 257 

(b) The primordial phenomenon of truth and 
the derivative character of the traditional 

conception of truth h. 219 262 

(c) The kind of Being which truth possesses, 

and the presupposition of truth h, 226 269 

io Being and Time 


45. The outcome of the preparatory fundamental 
analysis of Dasein, and the task of a primordial 

existential Interpretation of this entity H, 231 274 

I. Dasein's Possibility of Being-a-whole, and Being- 


46. The seeming impossibility of getting Dasein's 
Being-a-whole into our grasp ontologically and 
determining its character h. 235 279 

47. The possibility of experiencing the death of 
Others, and the possibility of getting a whole 

Dasein into our grasp h. 237 281 

48. That which is still outstanding; the end; totality h. 241 285 

49. How the existential analysis of death is distin- 
guished from other possible Interpretations of 

this phenomenon h. 246 290 

50. Preliminary sketch of the existential-ontological 

structure of death h. 249 293 

51. Being-towards-death and the everydayness of 

Dasein h. 252 296 

52. Everyday Being-towards-the-end, and the full 

existential conception of death h. 255 299 

53. Existential projection of an authentic Being-to- 
wards-death h. 260 304 

II. Dasein's Attestation of an Authentic Potential- 


54. The problem of how an authentic existentiell 

possibility is attested h. 267 312 

55. The existential-ontological foundations of con- 
science h. 270 315 

56. The character of conscience as a call h. 272 317 

57. Conscience as the call of care h. 274 319 

58. Understanding the appeal, and guilt h. 280 325 

59. The existential Interpretation of the conscience, 

and the way conscience is ordinarily interpreted h. 289 335 

60. The existential structure of the authentic poten- 
tiality-for-Being which is attested in the con- 
science h. 295 341 

Contents 1 1 

III. Dasein's Authentic Potentiality-for-being-a- 


Meaning of Care h. 301 349 

61. A preliminary sketch of the methodological step 
from the definition of Dasein's authentic Being- 
a-whole to the laying-bare of temporality as a 
phenomenon h. 301 349 

62. Anticipatory resoluteness as the way in which 
Dasein's potentiality-for-Being-a-whole has 

existentiell authenticity h. 305 352 

63. The hermeneutical situation at which we have 
arrived for Interpreting the meaning of the 
Being of care; and the methodological character 

of the existential analytic in general H. 310 358 

64. Care and selfhood h. 316 364 

65. Temporality as the ontological meaning of care h. 323 370 

66. Dasein's temporality and the tasks arising there- 
from of repeating the existential analysis in a 

more primordial manner h. 331 380 

IV. Temporality and Everydayness h. 334 383 

67. The basic content of Dasein's existential con- 
stitution, and a preliminary sketch of the 

temporal Interpretation of it h. 334 383 

68. The temporality of disclosedness in general h. 335 384 

(a) The temporality of understanding h. 336 385 

(b) The temporality of state-of-mind h. 339 389 

(c) The temporality of falling h. 346 396 

(d) The temporality of discourse h. 349 400 

69. The temporality of Being-in-the-world and the 

problem of the transcendence of the world h. 350 401 

(a) The temporality of circumspective concern h. 352 403 

(b) The temporal meaning of the way in which 
circumspective concern becomes modified 
into the theoretical discovery of the present- 

at-hand within-the-world h. 356 408 

(c) The temporal problem of the transcendence 

of the world h. 364 415 

70. The temporality of the spatiality that is charac- 
teristic of Dasein h. 367 418 

71. The temporal meaning of Dasein's everydayness h. 370 421 

12 Being and Time 

V. Temporality and Historicality h. 372 424 

72. Existential-ontological exposition of the prob- 
lem of history h. 372 424 

73. The ordinary understanding of history, and 

Dasein's historizing h. 378 429 

74. The basic constitution of historically h. 382 434 

75. Dasein's historicality, and world-history h. 387 439 

76. The existential source of historiology in Dasein's 
historicality h. 392 444 

77. The connection of the foregoing exposition of the 
problem of historicality with the researches of 

Wilhelm Dilthey and the ideas of Count Yorck h. 397 449 

VI. Temporality and Within-time-ness as the source 

of the ordinary conception of time h. 404 456 

78. The incompleteness of the foregoing temporal 

analysis of Dasein h.- 404 456 

79. Dasein's temporality, and our concern with time h. 406 458 

80. The time with which we concern ourselves, and 
within-time-ness h. 41 1 464 

81. Within-time-ness and the genesis of the ordinary 

conception of time h. 420 472 

82. A comparison of the existential-ontological 
connection of temporality, Dasein, and world- 
time, with Hegel's way of taking the relation 

between time and spirit h. 428 480 

(a) Hegel's conception of time h. 428 480 

(b) Hegel's Interpretation of the connection 

between time and spirit h. 433 484 

83. The existential-temporal analytic of Dasein, and 
the question of fundamental ontology as to the 

meaning of Being in general h. 436 486 

Author's Notes 489 

Glossary of German Terms 503 

Index 524 


More than thirty years have passed since Being and Time first appeared, 
and it has now become perhaps the most celebrated philosophical work 
which Germany has produced in this century. It is a very difficult book, 
even for the German reader, and highly resistant to translation, so much 
so that it has often been called 'untranslatable'. We feel that this is an 

Anyone who has struggled with a philosophical work in translation has 
constantly found himself asking how the author himself would have 
expressed the ideaswhich the translator has ascribed to him. In this respect 
the 'ideal' translation would perhaps be one so constructed that a reader 
with reasonable linguistic competence and a key to the translator's con- 
ventions should be able to retranslate the new version into the very words 
of the original. Everybody knows that this is altogether too much to 
demand ; but the faithful translator must at least keep this ahead of him 
as a desirable though impracticable goal. The simplest compromise with 
the demands of his own langugage is to present the translation and the 
original text on opposite pages; he is then quite free to choose the most 
felicitous expressions he can think of, trusting that the reader who is 
shrewd enough to wonder what is really happening can look across and 
find out. Such a procedure would add enormously to the expense of a book 
as long as Being and Time > and is impracticable for other reasons. But on 
any page of Heidegger there is a great deal happening, and we have felt 
that we owe it to the reader to let him know what is going on. For the 
benefit of the man who already has a copy of the German text, we have 
indicated in our margins the pagination of the later German editions, 
which differs only slightly from that of the earlier ones. All citations 
marked with 'H' refer to this pagination. But for the reader who does not 
have the German text handy, we have had to use other devices. 

As long as an author is using words in their ordinary ways, the trans- 
lator should not have much trouble in showing what he is trying to say. 
But Heidegger is constandy using words in ways which are by no means 
ordinary, and a great part of his merit lies in the freshness and penetra- 
tion which his very innovations reflect. He tends to discard much of the 
traditional philosophical terminology, substituting an elaborate vocabu- 
lary of his own. He occasionally coins new expressions from older roots, 
and he takes full advantage of the ease with which the German language 
lends itself to the formation of new compounds. He also uses familiar 

14 Being and Time 

expressions in new ways. Adverbs, prepositions, pronouns, conjunctions 
are made to do service as nouns; words which have undergone a long 
history of semantical change are used afresh in their older senses; spec- 
ialized modern idioms are generalized far beyond the limits within which 
they would ordinarily be applicable. Puns are by no means uncommon 
and frequently a key-word may be used in several senses, successively or 
even simultaneously. He is especially fond of ringing the changes on 
words with a common stem or a common prefix. He tends on the whole 
to avoid personal constructions, and often uses abstract nouns ('Dasein', 
'Zeitlichkeit', 'Sorge', 'In-der-Welt-sein', and so forth) as subjects of 
sentences where a personal subject would ordinarily be found. Like 
Aristotle or Wittgenstein, he likes to talk about his words, and seldom 
makes an innovation without explaining it; but sometimes he will have 
used a word in a special sense many times before he gets round to the 
explanation; and he may often use it in the ordinary senses as well. In 
such cases the reader is surely entided to know what word Heidegger is 
actually talking about, as well as what he says about it; and he is also 
entitled to know when and how he actually uses it. 

We have tried in the main to keep our vocabulary under control, 
providing a German-English glossary for the more important expres- 
sions, and a rather full analytical index which will also serve as an English- 
German glossary. We have tried to use as few English terms as possible 
to represent the more important German ones, and we have tried not to 
to use these for other purposes than those we have specifically indicated. 
Sometimes we have had to coin new terms to correspond to Heidegger's. 
In a number of cases there are two German terms at the author's disposal 
which he has chosen to differentiate, even though they may be synonyms 
in ordinary German usage; if we have found only one suitable English 
term to correspond to them, we have sometimes adopted the device of 
capitalizing it when it represents the German word to which it is etymo- 
logically closer: thus 'auslegen' becomes 'interpret', but 'interpretieren' 
becomes 'Interpret'; 'gliedern' becomes 'articulate', but 'artikulieren' 
becomes 'Articulate'; 'Ding' becomes 'Thing', but 'thing' represents 
'Sache' and a number of other expressions. In other cases we have coined 
a new term. Thus while 'tatsachlich' becomes 'factual', we have intro- 
duced 'facticaP to represent 'faktisch'. We have often inserted German 
expressions in square brackets on the occasions of their first appearance 
or on that of their official definition. But we have also used bracketed 
expressions to call attention to departures from our usual conventions, or 
to bring out etymological connections which might otherwise be over- 

Being and Time 15 

In many cases bracketing is insufficient, and we have introduced foot- 
notes of our own, discussing some of the more important terms on the 
occasion of their first appearance. We have not hesitated to quote German 
sentences at length when they have been ambiguous or obscure ; while we 
have sometimes taken pains to show where the ambiguity lies, we have 
more often left this to the reader to puzzle out for himself. We have often 
quoted passages with verbal subtleties which would otherwise be lost in 
translation. We have also called attention to a number of significant 
differences between the earlier and later editions of Heidegger's work. 
The entire book was reset for the seventh edition; while revisions were by 
no means extensive, they went beyond the simple changes in punctuation 
and citation which Heidegger mentions in his preface. We have chosen the 
third edition (1931) as typical of the earlier editions, and the eighth 
(1957) as typical of the later ones. In general we have preferred the read- 
ings of the eighth edition, and our marginal numbering and cross-references 
follow its pagination. Heidegger's very valuable footnotes have been 
renumbered with roman numerals and placed at the end of the text 
where we trust they will be given the attention they deserve. Hoping that 
our own notes will be of immediate use to the reader, we have placed 
them at the bottoms of pages for easy reference, indicating them with 
arabic numerals. 

In general we have tried to stick to the text as closely as we can without 
sacrificing intelligibility; but we have made numerous concessions to the 
reader at the expense of making Heidegger less Heideggerian. We have, 
for instance, frequently used personal constructions where Heidegger has 
avoided them. We have also tried to be reasonably flexible in dealing with 
hyphenated expressions. Heidegger does not seem to be especially con- 
sistent in his use of quotation marks, though in certain expressions (for 
instance, the word 'Welt') they are very deliberately employed. Except in 
a few footnote references and some of the quotations from Hegel and 
Count Yorck in the two concluding chapters, our single quotation marks 
represent Heidegger's double ones. But we have felt free to introduce 
double ones of our own wherever we feel that they may be helpful to 
the reader. We have followed a similar policy with regard to italicization. 
When Heidegger uses italics in the later editions (or spaced type in the 
earlier ones) , we have generally used italics ; but in the relatively few cases 
where we have felt that some emphasis of our own is needed, we have 
resorted to wide spacing. We have not followed Heidegger in the use of 
italics for proper names or for definite articles used demonstratively to 
introduce restrictive relative clauses. But we have followed the usual 
practice of italicizing words and phrases from languages other than English 

1 6 Being and Time 

and German, and have italicized titles of books, regardless of Heidegger's 

We have received help from several sources. Miss Marjorie Ward has 
collated the third and eighth editions, and made an extremely careful 
study of Heidegger's vocabulary and ours, which has saved us from 
innumerable inconsistencies and many downright mistakes; there is hardly 
a page which has not profited by her assistance. We are also indebted 
to several persons who have helped us in various ways: Z. Adamczewski, 
Hannah Arendt, J. A. Burzle, C. A. Campbell, G. M. George, Fritz Heider, 
Edith Kern, Norbert Raymond, Eva Schaper, Martin Scheerer, John 
Wild. If any serious errors remain, they are probably due to our failure 
to exploit the time and good nature of these friends and colleagues more 
unmercifully. We are particularly indebted to Professor R. Gregor Smith 
who brought us together in the first place, and who, perhaps more than 
anyone else, has made it possible for this translation to be presented to 
the public. We also wish to express our appreciation to our publishers 
and to Max Niemeyer Verlag, holders of the German copyright, who have 
shown extraordinary patience in putting up with the long delay in the 
preparation of our manuscript. 

We are particularly grateful to the University of Kansas for generous 
research grants over a period of three years, and to the University of 
Kansas Endowment Association for enabling us to work together in 



This treatise first appeared in the spring of 1927 in the Jahrbuch Jur 
Phanomenologie und phanomenologische Forschung edited by Edmund Husserl, 
and was published simultaneously in a special printing. 

The present reprint, which appears as the seventh edition, is unchanged 
in the text, but has been newly revised with regard to quotations and 
punctuation. The page-numbers of this reprint agree with those of the 
earlier editions except for minor deviations. 1 

While the previous editions have borne the designation 'First Half', 
this has now been deleted. After a quarter of a century, the second half 
could no longer be added unless the first were to be presented anew. Yet 
the road it has taken remains even today a necessary one, if our Dasein is 
to be stirred by the question of Being. 

For the elucidation of this question the reader may refer to my Einfuhrung 
in die Metaphysik, which is appearing simultaneously with this reprinting 
under the same publishers. 2 This work presents the text of a course of 
lectures delivered in the summer semester of 1935. 

1 See Translators' Preface, p. 15. 

2 Max Niemeyer Verlag, Tubingen, 1953. English translation by Ralph Manheim, 
Yale University Press and Oxford University Press, 1959. 



. . . SrjXov yap cos Vfiels fiiv ravra (ri nor€ fiovXearOe crrjfxalvtw oirorav ov 
<f>d£yyqaQe) iraXai yiyvwoK€T€, rjfJieis §€ irpo rod fiev (hojieOa, vvv 8' rjnoprj- 

K<Lfl€V . . . 

Tor manifestly you have long been aware of what you mean when you 
use the expression "being". We, however, who used to think we under- 
stood it, have now become perplexed.' 1 

Do we in our time have an answer to the question of what we really 
mean by the word 'being'? 1 Not at all. So it is fitting that we should 
raise anew the question of the meaning* of Being, But are we nowadays even 
perplexed at our inability to understand the expression 'Being' ? Not at 
all. So first of all we must reawaken an understanding for the meaning of 
this question. Our aim in the following treatise is to work out the question 
of the meaning of Being and to do so concretely. Our provisional aim 
is the Interpretation 3 of time as the possible horizon for any understanding 
whatsoever of Being. 4 

But the reasons for making this our aim, the investigations which such 
a purpose requires, and the path to its achievement, call for some intro- 
ductory remarks. 

1 'seiend'. Heidegger translates Plato's present participle ov by this present participle 
of the verb 'sein' ('to be'). We accordingly translate 'seiend* here and in a number of 
later passages by the present participle 'being'; where such a translation is inconvenient 
we shall resort to other constructions, usually subjoining the German word in brackets or 
in a footnote. The participle 'seiend' must be distinguished from the infinitive 'sein', 
which we shall usually translate either by the infinitive 'to be' or by the gerund * being'. 
It must also be distinguished from the important substantive 'Sein' (always capitalized), 
which we shall translate as 'Being* (capitalized), and from the equally important sub- 
stantive 'Seiendes*, which is directly derived from 'seiend', and which we shall usually 
translate as 'entity' or 'entities'. (See our note 6, H. 3 below.) 

2 'Sinn.' In view of the importance of the distinction between 'Sinn' and 'Bedeutung' 
in German writers as diverse as Dilthey, Husserl, Frege and Schlick, we shall translate 
'Sinn* by 'meaning' or 'sense', depending on the context, and keep 'signification' and 
'signify' for 'Bedeutung' and 'bedeuten'. (The verb 'mean' will occasionally be used to 
translate such verbs as 'besagen', 'sagen', 'heissen' and 'meinen', but the noun 'meaning* 
will be reserved for 'Sinn'.) On 'Sinn', see H. 151, 324; on 'Bedeutung', etc., see H. 87, 
and our note 47 ad loc. 

3 Heidegger uses two words which might well be translated as 'interpretation' : 'Aus- 
legung' and 'Interpretation'. Though in many cases these may be regarded as synonyms, 
their connotations are not quite the same. 'Auslegung' seems to be used in a broad sense 
to cover any activity in which we interpret something 'as' something, whereas 'Inter- 
pretation' seems to apply to interpretations which are more theoretical or systematic, as 
in the exegesis of a text. See especially H. 148 ff. and 199 f. We shall preserve this distinc- 
tion by writing 'interpretation' for 'Auslegung', but 'Interpretation' for Heidegger's 
'Interpretation', following similar conventions for the verbs 'auslegen' and 'interpretieren'. 

4 \ . . als des moglichen Horizontes eines jeden Seinsverstandnisses uberhaupt . . .' 
Throughout this work the word 'horizon' is used with a connotation somewhat different 
from that to which the English-speaking reader is likely to be accustomed. We tend to 
think of a horizon as something which we may widen or extend or go beyond; Heidegger, 
however, seems to think of it rather as something which we can neither widen nor go 
beyond, but which provides the limits for certain intellectual activities performed 'within' it. 






^[ /. The Necessity for Explicitly Restating the Question of Being 
This question has today been forgotten. Even though in our time we 
deem it progressive to give our approval to 'metaphysics* again, it is held 
that we have been exempted from the exertions of a newly rekindled 
ytyavrofia^ta n€pl rijs ovalas. Yet the question we are touching upon is not just 
any question. It is one which provided a stimulus for the researches of 
Plato and Aristotle, only to subside from then on or a theme for actual 
investigation, 1 What these two men achieved was to persist through many 
alterations and 'retouchings* down to the 'logic* of Hegel. And what 
they wrested with the utmost intellectual effort from the phenomena, 
fragmentary and incipient though it was, has long since become 

Not only that. On the basis of the Greeks' initial contributions towards 
an Interpretation of Being, a dogma has been developed which not only 
declares the question about the meaning of Being to be superfluous, but 
sanctions its complete neglect. It is said that 'Being* is the most universal 
and the emptiest of concepts. As such it resists every attempt at definition. 
Nor does this most universal and hence indefinable concept require any 
definition, for everyone uses it constantly and already understands what 
he means by it. In this way, that which tb'. ancient philosophers found 
continually disturbing as something obscure and hidden has taken on a 
clarity and self-evidence such that if anyone continues to ask about it he 
is charged with an error of method. 

At the beginning of our investigation it is not possible to give a detailed 

1 ♦ . als thematische Frage wirklicher Untersuchung\ When Heidegger speaks of a question 
as 'thematisch', he thinks of it as one which is taken seriously and studied in a systematic 
manner. While we shall often translate this adjective by its cognate, 'thematic', we may 
sometimes -find it convenient to choose more flexible expressions involving the word 
* theme'. (Heidegger gives a fuller discussion on H. 363.) 

22 Being and Time Int. I 

account of the presuppositions and prejudices which are constantly 
reimplanting and fostering the belief that an inquiry into Being is unneces- 
sary. They are rooted in ancient ontology itself, and it will not be possible 
to interpret that ontology adequately until the question of Being has been 
clarified and answered and taken as a clue — at least, if we are to have 
regard for the soil from which the basic ontological concepts developed, 
and if we are to see whether the categories have been demonstrated in a 
way that is appropriate and complete. We shall therefore carry the dis- 
cussion of these presuppositions only to the point at which the necessity 
for restating the question about the meaning of Being become plain. 
There are three such presuppositions. 

i. First, it has been maintained that 'Being' is the 'most universal' 
concept: to ov cart kcl96\ov /xaAtora Travrwiv} Illud quod primo cadit sub 
apprehensione est ens, cuius intellectus includitur in omnibus, quaecumque quis 
apprehendit. 'An understanding of Being is already included in conceiving 
anything which one apprehends as an entity. But the 'universality' of 
'Being' is not that of a class or genus. The term 'Being' does not define that 
realm of entities which is uppermost when these are Articulated con- 
ceptually according to genus and species : ovre to ov ycVos. 111 The 'univer- 
sality' of Being 'transcends* any universality of genus. In medieval ontology 
'Being' is designated as a Hranscendens\ Aristotle himself knew the unity of 
this transcendental 'universal' as a unity of analogy in contrast to the 
multiplicity of the highest generic concepts applicable to things. With 
this discovery, in spite of his dependence on the way in which the 
ontological question had been formulated by Plato, he put the problem 
of Being on what was, in principle, a new basis. To be sure, even Aristotle 
failed to clear away the darkness of these categorial interconnections. In 
medieval ontology this problem was widely discussed, especially in the 
Thomist and Scotist schools, without reaching clarity as to principles. 
And when Hegel at last defines 'Being' as the 'indeterminate immediate' 
and makes this definition basic for all the further categorial explications 
of his 'logic', he keeps looking in the same direction as ancient ontology, 

1 ' . . was einer am Seienden erfasst" '. The word 'Seiendes', which Heidegger uses 
in his paraphrase, is one of the most important words in the book. The substantive 'das 
Seiende' is derived from the participle 'seiend' (see note i, p. 19), and means literally 
'that which is*; 'ein Seiendes* means 'something which is'. There is much to be said for 
translating 'Seiendes* by the noun 'being* or 'beings' (for it is often used in a collective 
sense). We feel, however, that it is smoother and less confusing to write 'entity* or 'en- 
tities*. We are well aware that in recent British and American philosophy the term 
'entity* has been used more generally to apply to almost anything whatsoever, no matter 
what its ontological status. In this translation, however, it will mean simply 'something 
which is'. An alternative translation of the Latin quotation is given by the English 
Dominican Fathers, Summa Theologica, Thomas Baker, London, 1915: 'For that which, 
before aught else, falls under apprehension, is being, the notion of which is included in all 
things whatsoever a man apprehends.' 

Int. I Being and Time 23 

except that he no longer pays heed to Aristotle's problem of the unity of 
Being as over against the multiplicity of 'categories' applicable to 
things. So if it is said that 'Being' is the most universal concept, this 
cannot mean that it is the one which is clearest or that it needs no further 
discussion. It is rather the darkest of all. 

2. It has been maintained secondly that the concept of 'Being 5 is 
indefinable. This is deduced from its supreme universality, iv and rightly 
so, if definitio fit per genus proxxmum et differentiam specificam. 'Being' cannot 
indeed be conceived as an entity; enti non additur aliqua natural nor can it 
acquire such a character as to have the term "entity" applied to it. 
"Being" cannot be derived from higher concepts by definition, nor can 
it be presented through lower ones. But does this imply that 'Being' no 
longer offers a problem? Not at all. We can infer only that 'Being' cannot 
have the character of an entity. Thus we cannot apply to Being the concept 
of 'definition' as presented in traditional logic, which itself has its founda- 
tions in ancient ontology and which, within certain limits, provides a 
quite justifiable way of defining "entities". The ^definability of Being 
does not eliminate the question of its meaning; it demands that we look 
that question in the face. 

3. Thirdly, it is held that 'Being' is of all concepts the one that is self- 
evident. Whenever one cognizes anything or makes an assertion, whenever 
one comports oneself towards entities, even towards oneself, 1 some use 
is made of 'Being*; and this expression is held to be intelligible 'without 
further ado', just as everyone understands "The sky is blue', 'I am merry', 
and the like. But here we have an average kind of intelligibility, which 
merely demonstrates that this is unintelligible. It makes manifest that in 
any way of comporting oneself towards entities as entities — even in any 
Being towards entities as entities — there lies a priori an enigma. 2 The very 
fact that we already live in an understanding of Being and that the mean- 
ing of Being is still veiled in darkness proves that it is necessary in principle 
to raise this question again. 

Within the range of basic philosophical concepts — especially when we come 
to the concept of 'Being' — it is a dubious procedure to invoke self-evidence, 
even if the 'self-evident' (Kant's 'covert judgments of the common reason') 3 

1 '. . . in jedem Verhalten zu Seiendem, in jedem Sich-zu-sich-selbst- verbal ten . . 
The verb Verhalten' can refer to any kind of behaviour or way of conducting oneself, 
even to the way in which one relates oneself to something else, or to the way one refrains 
or holds oneself back. We shall translate it in various ways. 

2 'Sie macht offenbar, dass in jedem Verhalten und Sein zu Seiendem als Seiendem a 
priori ein Ratsel liegt.' The phrase 'Sein zu Seiendem' is typical of many similar expressions 
in which the substantive 'Sein* is followed by the preposition 'zu'. In such expressions 
we shall usually translate *zu' as 'towards': for example, 'Being- towards-death', 'Being 
towards Others', 'Being towards entities within- the- world*. 

8 * "die geheimen Urteile der gemeinen Vernunft" '. 

34 Being and Time Int. I 

is to become the sole explicit and abiding theme for one's analytic — 
'the business of philosophers'. 

By considering these prejudices, however, we have made plain not only 
that the question of Being lacks an answer, but that the question itself is 
obscure and without direction. So if it is to be revived, this means that 
we must first work out an adequate way of formulating it. 

2. The Formal Structure of the Question of Being 

The question of the meaning of Being must be formulated. If it is a 
fundamental question, or indeed the fundamental question, it must be 
made transparent, and in an appropriate way. 1 We must therefore 
explain briefly what belongs to any question whatsoever, so that from this 
standpoint the question of Being can be made visible as a very special one 
with its own distinctive character. 

Every inquiry is a seeking [Suchen]. Every seeking gets guided before- 
hand by what is sought. Inquiry is a cognizant seeking for an entity both 
with regard to the fact that it is and with regard to its Being as it is. 2 
This cognizant seeking can take the form of 'investigating' [' 'Untersuchen' '] , 
in which one lays bare that which the question is about and ascertains its 
character. Any inquiry, as an inquiry about something, has that which is 
asked about [sein Gefragtes] . But all inquiry about something is somehow a 
questioning of something [Anfragen bei . . .]. So in addition to what is 
asked about, an inquiry has that which is interrogated [ein Befragtes\ In 
investigative questions — that is, in questions which are specifically theo- 
retical — what is asked about is determined and conceptualized. Further- 
more, in what is asked about there lies also that which is to be found out by 
the asking [das Erfragte]; this is what is really intended: 3 with this the 
inquiry reaches its goal. Inquiry itself is the behaviour of a questioner, and 
therefore of an entity, and as such has its own character of Being. When one 
makes an inquiry one may do so 'just casually' or one may formulate the 

1 '. . . dann bedarf solches Fragen der angemessenen Durchsichtigkeit*. The adjective 
'durchsichtig' is one of Heidegger's favourite expressions, and means simply 'transparent', 
'perspicuous', something that one can 'see through'. We shall ordinarily translate it by 
'transparent'. See H. 146 for further discussion. 

2 '. . . in seinem Dass- und Sosein'. 

8 '. . . das eigentlich Intendierte . . .' The adverb 'eigentlich' occurs very often in this 
work. It may be used informally where one might write 'really' or 'on its part', or in a 
much stronger sense, where something like 'genuinely' or 'authentically* would be more 
appropriate. It is not always possible to tell which meaning Heidegger has in mind. In the 
contexts which seem relatively informal we shall write 'really'; in the more technical 
passages we shall write 'authentically', reserving 'genuinely' for 'genuin* or 'echY. The 
reader must not confuse this kind of 'authenticity* with the kind, which belongs to an 
'authentic text' or an 'authentic account'. See H. 42 for further discussion. In the present 
passage, the verb 'intendieren' is presumably used in the medieval sense of 'intending', as 
adapted and modified by Brentano and Husserl. 

Int. I Being and Time 25 

question explicitly. The latter case is peculiar in that the inquiry does not 
become transparent to itself until all these constitutive factors of the 
question have themselves become transparent. 

The question about the meaning of Being is to be formulated. We must 
therefore discuss it with an eye to these structural items. 

Inquiry, as a kind of seeking, must be guided beforehand by what is 
sought. So the meaning of Being must already be available to us in some 
way. As we have intimated, we always conduct our activities in an' under- 
standing of Being. Out of this understanding arise both the explicit ques- 
tion of the meaning of Being and the tendency that leads us towards its 
conception. We do not know what 'Being* means. But even if we ask, 
'What is "Being" we keep within an understanding of the 'is', though 
we are unable to fix conceptionally what that 'is' signifies. We do not 
even know the horizon in terms of which that meaning is to be grasped 
and fixed. But this vague average understanding of Being is still a Fact 

However much this understanding of Being (an understanding which is 
already available to us) may fluctuate and grow dim, and border on mere 
acquaintance with a word, its very indefiniteness is itself a positive pheno- 
menon which needs to be clarified. An investigation of the meaning of 
Being cannot be expected to give this clarification at the outset. If we are 
to obtain the clue we need for Interpreting this average understanding of 
Being, we must first develop the concept of Being. In the light of this 
concept and the ways in which it may be explicidy understood, we can 
make out what this obscured or still unillumined understanding of Being 
means, and what kinds of obscuration — or hindrance to an explicit 
illumination — of the meaning of Being are possible and even inevitable. 

Further, this vague average understanding of Being may be so infil- 
trated with traditional theories and opinions about Being that these 
remain hidden as sources of the way in which it is prevalently understood. 
What we seek when we inquire into Being is not something entirely 
unfamiliar, even if proximally 1 we cannot grasp it at all. 

In the question which we are to work out, what is asked about is Being— 
that which determines entities as entities, that on the basis of which 

1 'zunachst*. This word is of very frequent occurrence in Heidegger, and he will 
discuss his use of it on H. 370 below. In ordinary German usage the word may mean 'at 
first', 'to begin with', or 'in the first instance', and we shall often translate it in such ways. 
The word is, however, cognate with the adjective 'nah' and its superlative 'nachst', 
which we shall usually translate as 'close' and 'closest* respectively; and Heidegger often 
uses 'zunachst' in the sense of 'most closely', when he is describing the most 'natural' and 
'obvious' experiences which we have at an uncritical and pre-philosophical level. We 
have ventured to translate this Heideggerian sense of 'zunachst' as 'proximally', but there 
are many border-line cases where it is not clear whether Heidegger has in mind this 
special sense or one of the more general usages, and in such cases we have chosen whatever 
expression seems stylistically preferable. 

26 Being and Time Int. I 

[woraufhin] entities are already understood, however we may discuss 
them in detail. The Being of entities 'is' not itself an entity. If we are to 
understand the problem of Being, our first philosophical step consists in 
not nvdov nva Sir/yeujflat/ in not 'telling a story' — that is to say, in not 
defining entities as entities by tracing them back in their origin to some 
other entities, as if Being had the character of some possible entity. Hence 
Being, as that which is asked about, must be exhibited in a way of its own, 
essentially different from the way in which entities are discovered. Accord- 
ingly, what is to be found out by the asking— the meaning of Being— also 
demands that it be conceived in a way of its own, essentially contrasting 
with the concepts in which entities acquire their determinate signification. 

In so far as Being constitutes what is asked about, and 4 'Being" means 
the Being of entities, then entities themselves turn out to be what is inter- 
rogated. These are, so to speak, questioned as regards their Being. But if 
the characteristics of their Being can be yielded without falsification, then 
these entities must, on their part, have become accessible as they are in 
themselves. When we come to what is to be interrogated, the question of 
Being requires that the right way of access to entities shall have been 
obtained and secured in advance. But there are many things which we 
designate as 'being* ["seiend"], and we do so in various senses. Everything 
we talk about, everything we have in view, everything towards which we 
comport ourselves in any way, is being; what we are is being, and so is 
how we are. Being lies in the fact that something is, and in its Being as it is ; 
in Reality; in presence-at-hand; in subsistence; in validity; in Dasein; 
in the 'there is 5 . 1 In which entities is the meaning of Being to be discerned? 
From which entities is the disclosure of Being to take its departure? Is 
the starting-point optional, or does some particular entity have priority 
when we come to work out the question of Being? Which entity shall we 
take for our example, and in what sense does it have priority? 

If the question about Being is to be explicitly formulated and carried 
through in such a manner as to be completely transparent to itself, then 
any treatment of it in line with the elucidations we have given requires 
us to explain how Being is to be looked at, how its meaning is to be under- 
stood and conceptually grasped; it requires us to prepare the way for 
choosing the right entity for our example, and to work out the genuine 
way of access to it. Looking at something, understanding and conceiving it, 
choosing, access to it — all these ways of behaving are constitutive for our 
inquiry, and therefore are modes of Being for those particular entities 

1 'Sein liegt im Dass- und Sosein, in Realitat, Vorhandenheit, Bestand, Geltung, 
Dasein, im "es gibt".' On 'Vorhandenheit* ('presence-at-hand') see note I, p. 48, H. 25. 
On 'Dasein', see note 1, p. 27. 

Int. I Being and Time 27 

which we, the inquirers, are ourselves. Thus to work out the question of 
Being adequately, we must make an entity — the inquirer — transparent in 
his own Being. The very asking of this question is an entity's mode of 
Being; and as such it gets its essential character from what is inquired 
about — namely, Being. This entity which each of us is himself and which 
includes inquiring as one of the possibilities of its Being, we shall denote 
by the term "Dasein". 1 If we are to formulate our question explicitly and 
transparently, we must first give a proper explication of an entity (Dasein), 
with regard to its Being. 

Is there not, however, a manifest circularity in such an undertaking? 
If we must first define an entity in its Being, and if we want to formulate 
the question of Being only on this basis, what is this but going in a circle? 
In working out our question, have we not 'presupposed' something which 
only the answer can bring? Formal objections such as the argument 
about 'circular reasoning', which can easily be cited at any time in the 
study of first principles, are always sterile when one is considering 
concrete ways of investigating. When it comes to understanding the matter 
at hand, they carry no weight and keep us from penetrating into the field 
of study. 

But factically 2 there is no circle at all in formulating our question as 
we have described. One can determine the nature of entities in their Being 
without necessarily having the explicit concept of the meaning of Being 
at one's disposal. Otherwise there could have been no ontological know- 
ledge heretofore. One would hardly deny that factically there has been 
such knowledge. 8 Of course 'Being' has been presupposed in all ontology 
up till now, but not as a concept at one's disposal — not as the sort of thing 
we are seeking. This 'presupposing' of Being has rather the character of 
taking a look at it beforehand, so that in the light of it the entities pre- 
sented to us get provisionally Articulated in their Being. This guiding 

1 The word 'Dasein' plays so important a role in this work and is already so familiar 
to the English-speaking reader who has read about Heidegger, that it seems simpler to 
leave it untranslated except in the relatively rare passages m which Heidegger himself 
breaks it up with a hypthen ('Da-sein') to show its etymological construction: literally 
'Being-there*. Though in traditional German philosophy it may be used quite generally to 
stand for almost any kind of Being or 'existence' which we can say that something has 
(the 'existence* of God, for example), in everyday usage it tends to be used more narrowly 
to stand for the kind of Being that belongs to persons. Heidegger follows the everyday usage 
in this respect, but goes somewhat further in that he often uses it to stand for any person 
who has such Being, and who is thus an 'entity' himself. See H. 1 1 below. 

2 'faktisch'. While this word can often be translated simply as 'in fact' or 'as a matter of 
fact', it is used both as an adjective and as an adverb and is so characteristic of Heideg- 
ger's style that we shall as a rule translate it either as 'factical* or as 'factically', thus 
preserving its connection with the important noun 'Faktizitat' (facticity'), and keeping it 
distinct from 'tatsachlich' ('factual') and 'wirklich' ('actual'). See the discussion of 
'Tatsachlichkeit' and 'Faktizitat' in Sections 12 and 29 below (H. 56, 135). 

8 . . deren faktischen Bestand man wohl nicht leugnen wird'. 

28 Being and Time Int. I 

activity of taking a look at Being arises from the average understanding 
of Being in which we always operate and which in the end belongs to the 
essential constitution 1 of Dasein itself. Such 'presupposing' has nothing to do 
with laying down an axiom from which a sequence of propositions is 
deductively derived. It is quite impossible for there to be any 'circular 
argument' in formulating the question about the meaning of Being; for 
in answering this question, the issue is not one of grounding something 
by such a derivation; it is rather one of laying bare the grounds for it 
and exhibiting them. 2 

In the question of the meaning of Being there is no 'circular reasoning' 
but rather a remarkable 'relatedness backward or forward' which what 
we are asking about (Being) bears to the inquiry itself as a mode of Being 
of an entity. Here what is asked about has an essential pertinence to the 
inquiry itself, and this belongs to the ownmost meaning [eigensten Sinn] 
of the question of Being. This only means, however, that there is a way — 
perhaps even a very special one — in which entities with the character of 
Dasein are related to the question of Being. But have we not thus demon- 
strated that a certain kind of entity has a priority with regard to its Being ? 
And have we not thus presented that entity which shall serve as the 
primary example to be interrogated in the question of Being? So far our 
discussion has not demonstrated Dasein's priority, nor has it shown 
decisively whether Dasein may possibly or even necessarily serve as the 
primary entity to be interrogated. But indeed something like a priority of 
Dasein has announced itself. 

3. The Ontological Priority of the Question of Being 

When we pointed out the characteristics of the question of Being, 
taking as our clue the formal structure of the question as such, we made it 

1 'Wesensverfassung'. 'Verfassung' is the standard word for the 'constitution* of a 
nation or any political organization, but it is also used for the 'condition* or 'state' in 
which a person may find himself. Heidegger seldom uses the word in either of these senses; 
but he does use it in ways which are somewhat analogous. In one sense Dasein's 'Ver- 
fassung' is its 'constitution', the way it is constituted, 'sa condition humaine\ In another 
sense Dasein may have several 'Verfassungen' as constitutive 'states' or factors which 
enter into its 'constitution'. We shall, in general, translate 'Verfassung' as 'constitution' or 
'constitutive state' according to the context; but in passages where 'constitutive state' 
would be cumbersome and there is little danger of ambiguity, we shall simply write 
'state'. These states, however, must always be thought of as constitutive and essential, 
not as temporary or transitory stages like the 'state' of one's health or the 'state of the 
nation*. When Heidegger uses the word 'Konstitution', we shall usually indicate this by 
capitalizing 'Constitution'. 

* '. . . weil es in der Beantwortung der Frage nicht um eine ableitende Begriindung, 
sondern um aufweisende Grund-Freilegung geht.' Expressions of the form 'es geht . . . 
um— ' appear very often in this work. We shall usually translate them by variants on 
' — is an issue for . . .', 

Int. I Being and Time 29 

clear that this question is a peculiar one, in that a series of fundamental 
considerations is required for working it out, not to mention for solving 
it. But its distinctive features will come fully to light only when we have 
delimited it adequately with regard to its function, its aim, and its 

Hitherto our arguments for showing that the question must be restated 
have been motivated in part by its venerable origin but chiefly by the lack 
of a definite answer and even by the absence of any satisfactory formula- 
tion of the question itself. One may, however, ask what purpose this ques- 
tion is supposed to serve. Does it simply remain — or is it at all — a mere 
matter for soaring speculation about the most general of generalities, or 
is it rather, of all questions, both the most basic and the most concrete? 

Being is always the Being of an entity. The totality of entities can, in 
accordance with its various domains, become a field for laying bare 
and delimiting certain definite areas of subject-matter. These areas, on 
their part (for instance, history, Nature, space, life, Dasein, language, 
and the like), can serve, as objects which corresponding scientific 
investigations may take as their respective themes. Scientific research 
accomplishes, roughly and naively, the demarcation and initial fixing of 
the areas of subject-matter. The basic structures of any such area have 
already been worked out after a fashion in our pre-scientific ways of 
experiencing and interpreting that domain of Being in which the area of 
subject-matter is itself confined. The * basic concepts' which thus arise 
remain our proximal clues for disclosing this area concretely for the first 
time. And although research may always lean towards this positive 
approach, its real progress comes not so much from collecting results and 
storing them away in 'manuals' as from inquiring into the ways in which 
each particular area is basically constituted [Grundverfassungen] — an 
inquiry to which we have been driven mostly by reacting against just 
such an increase in information. 

The real 'movement* of the sciences takes place when their basic con- 
cepts undergo a more or less radical revision which is transparent to itself. 
The level which a science has reached is determined by how far it is 
capable of a crisis in its basic concepts. In such immanent crises the very 
relationship between positively investigative inquiry and those things 
themselves that are under interrogation comes to a point where it begins 
to totter. Among the various disciplines everywhere today there are 
freshly awakened tendencies to put research on new foundations. 

Mathematics, which is seemingly the most rigorous and most firmly 
constructed of the sciences, has reached a crisis in its 'foundations'. In 
the controversy between the formalists and the intuitionists, the issue is 

30 Being and Time Int. I 

one of obtaining and securing the primary way of access to what are 
supposedly the objects of this science. The relativity theory of physics 
arises from the tendency to exhibit the interconnectedness of Nature as 
it is 'in itself*. As a theory of the conditions under which we have access 
to Nature itself, it seeks to preserve the changelessness of the laws of 
motion by ascertaining all relativities, and thus comes up against the 
question of the structure of its own given area of study — the problem of 
matter. In biology there is an awakening tendency to inquire beyond the 
definitions which mechanism and vitalism have given for "life" and 
"organism", and to define anew the kind of Being which belongs to the 
living as such. In those humane sciences which are historiologkal in character y x 
the urge towards historical actuality itself has been strengthened in the 
course of time by tradition and by the way tradition has been presented 
and handed down : the history of literature is to become the history of 
problems. Theology is seeking a more primordial interpretation of man's 
Being towards God, prescribed by the meaning of faith itself and remaining 
within it. It is slowly beginning to understand once more Luther's insight 
that the 'foundation' on which its system of dogma rests has not arisen 
from an inquiry in which faith is primary, and that conceptually this 
'foundation' not only is inadequate for the problematic of theology, but 
conceals and distorts it. 

Basic concepts determine the way in which we get an understanding 
beforehand of the area of subject-matter underlying all the objects a 
science takes as its theme, and all positive investigation is guided by this 
understanding. Only after the area itself has been explored beforehand 
in a corresponding manner do these concepts become genuinely demon- 
strated and 'grounded'. But since every such area is itself obtained from 
the domain of entities themselves, this preliminary research, from which 
the basic concepts are drawn, signifies nothing else than an interpretation 
of those entities with regard to their basic state of Being. Such research 
must run ahead of the positive sciences, and it can. Here the work of Plato 
and Aristotle is evidence enough. Laying the foundations for the sciences 
in this way is different in principle from the kind of 'logic' which limps 
along after, investigating the status of some science as it chances to find 
it, in order to discover its 'method'. Laying the foundations, as we have 
described it, is rather a productive logic — in the sense that it leaps ahead, 

1 'In den historischen GeisUswissenschaften . . .* Heidegger makes much of the distinction 
between 'Historic* and 'Geschichte* and the corresponding adjectives 'historisch* and 
'geschichtlich*. 'Historic' stands for what Heidegger calls a 'science of history*. (See 
H. 375, 378.) 'Geschichte* usually stands for the kind of 'history' that actually happens. We 
shall as a rule translate these respectively as 'historiology' and 'history*, following similar 
conventions in handling the two adjectives. See especially Sections 6 and 76 below. 

Int. I Being and Time 31 

as it were, into some area of Being, discloses it for the first time in the 
constitution of its Being, and, after thus arriving at the structures within 
it, makes these available to the positive sciences as transparent assign- 
ments for their inquiry. 1 To give an example, what is philosophically 
primary is neither a theory of the concept-formation of historiology nor 
the theory of historiological knowledge, nor yet the theory of history as 
the Qbject of historiology ; what is primary is rather the Interpretation of 
authentically historical entities as regards their historicality. 2 Similarly 
the positive outcome of Kant's Critique of Pure Reason lies in what it has 
contributed towards the working out of what belongs to any Nature 
whatsoever, not in a 'theory' of knowledge. His transcendental logic is an 
a priori logic for the subject-matter of that area of Being called "Nature". 

But such an inquiry itself — ontology taken in the widest sense without 
favouring any particular ontological directions or tendencies — requires a 
further clue. Ontological inqury is indeed more primordial, as over against 
the ontical 3 inquiry of the positive sciences. But it remains itself naive and 
opaque if in its researches into the Being of entities it fails to discuss the 
meaning of Being in general. And even the ontological task of construct- 
ing a non-deductive genealogy of the different possible ways of Being 
requires that we first come to an understanding of 'what we really mean 
by this expression "Being" '. 

The question of Being aims therefore at ascertaining the a priori condi- 
tions not only for the possibility of the sciences which examine entities 
as entities of such and such a type, and, in so doing, already operate 
with an understanding of Being, but also for the possibility of those 
ontologies themselves which are prior to the ontical sciences and which 
provide their foundations. Basically, all ontology, no matter how rich and 
firmly compacted a system of categories it has at its disposal, remains blind and per- 
verted from its ownmost aim, if it has not first adequately clarified the meaning 
of Being, and conceived this clarification as its fundamental task. 

Ontological research itself, when properly understood, gives to the 
question of Being an ontological priority which goes beyond mere resump- 
tion of a venerable tradition and advancement with a problem that has 
hitherto been opaque. But this objectively scientific priority is not the 
only one. 

1 '. . . als durchsichtige Anweisungen des Fragens . . .* 

2 '. . . sondern die Intepretation des eigentlich geschichtlich Seienden auf seine Ges- 
chichtlichkeit*. We shall translate the frequently occurring term 'Geschichtlichkeit* as 
'historicality*. Heidegger very occasionally uses the term 'Historizitat*, as on H. 20 below, 
and this will be translated as 'historicity*. 

3 While the terms 'ontisch* ('ontical*) and 'ontologisch' ('ontological') are not explicitly 
denned, their meanings will emerge rather clearly. Ontological inquiry is concerned 
primarily with Being; ontical inquiry is concerned primarily with entities and the facts 
about them. 

32 Being and Time Int. I 

^[ 4. The Ontical Priority of the Question of Being 

Science in general may be defined as the totality established through an 
interconnection of true propositions. 1 This definition is not complete, nor 
does it reach the meaning of science. As ways in which man behaves, 
sciences have the manner of Being which this entity — man himself — pos- 
sesses. This entity we denote by the term "Dasein". Scientific research is 
not the only manner of Being which this entity can have, nor is it the 
one which lies closest. Moreover, Dasein itself has a special distinctiveness 
as compared with other entities, and it is worth our while to bring this to 
view in a provisional way. Here our discussion must anticipate later 
analyses, in which our results will be authentically exhibited for the first time. 

Dasein is an entity which does not just occur among other entities. 
Rather it is ontically distinguished by the fact that, in its very Being, 
that Being is an issue for it. But in that case, this is a constitutive state of 
Dasein's Being, and this implies that Dasein, in its Being, has a relation- 
ship towards that Being — a relationship which itself is one of Being. 2 And 
this means further that there is some way in which Dasein understands 
itself in its Being, and that to some degree it does so explicitly. It is pecu- 
liar to this entity that with and through its Being, this Being is disclosed 
to it. Understanding of Being is itself a definite characteristic of Daseirfs Being. 
Dasein is ontically distinctive in that it is ontological. 3 

Here "Being-ontological" is not yet tantamount to "developing an 
ontology". So if we should reserve the term "ontology" for that theoreti- 
cal inquiry which is explicitly devoted to the meaning of entities, then what 
we have had in mind in speaking of Dasein's "Being-ontological" is to be 
designated as something "pre-ontological". It does not signify simply 
"being-ontical", however, but rather "being in such a way that one has 
an understanding of Being". 

That kind of Being towards which Dasein can comport itself in one 
way or another, and always does comport itself somehow, we call "exis- 
tence" [Existent], And because we cannot define Dasein's essence by citing 
a "what" of the kind that pertains to a subject-matter [eines sachhaltigen 
Was], and because its essence lies rather in the fact that in each case it 

1 '. . . das Ganze eines Begrundungszusammenhanges wahrer Satze . . .* See H. 357 

2 'Zu dieser Seinsverfassung des Daseins gehort aber dann, dass es in seincm Sein zu 
diesem Sein ein Seinsverhaltnis hat/ This passage is ambiguous and might also be read 
as: '. . . and this implies that Dasein, in its Being towards this Being, has a relationship of 

* *. . . dass es ontologisch ist*. As 'ontologisch' may be either an adjective or an 
adverb, we might also write: '. . . that it is ontologically*. A similar ambiguity occurs in 
the two following sentences, where we read 'Ontologisch-sein' and 'ontisch-seiend* 

Int. I Being and Time 33 

has its Being to be, and has it as its own, 1 we have chosen to designate 
this entity as "Dasein", a term which is purely an expression of its Being 
[als reiner Seinsausdruck]. 

Dasein always understands itself in terms of its existence — in terms of a 
possibility of itself: to be itself or not itself. Dasein has either chosen these 
possibilities itself, or got itself into them, or grown up in them already. 
Only the particular Dasein decides its existence, whether it does so by 
taking hold or by neglecting. The question of existence never gets straight- 
ened out except through existing itself. The understanding of oneself which 
leads along this way we call "existentiell". 2 The question of existence is one 
of Dasein's ontical 'affairs'. This does not require that the ontological 
structure of existence should be theoretically transparent. The question 
about that structure aims at the analysis [Auseinanderlegung] of what 
constitutes existence. The context [Zusammenhang] of such structures we 
call "existentiality". Its analytic has the character of an understanding 
which is not existentiell, but rather existential. The task of an existential 
analytic of Dasein has been delineated in advance, as regards both its 
possibility and its necessity, in Dasein's ontical constitution. 

So far as existence is the determining character of Dasein, the onto- 
logical analytic of this entity always requires that existentiality be con- 
sidered beforehand. By "existentiality" we understand the state of Being 
that is constitutive for those entities that exist. But in the idea of such a 
constitutive state of Being, the idea of Being is already included. And thus 
even the possibility of carrying through the analytic of Dasein depends on 
working out beforehand the question about the meaning of Being in general. 

Sciences are ways of Being in which Dasein comports itself towards 
entities which it need not be itself. But to Dasein, Being in a world is 
something that belongs essentially. Thus Dasein's understanding of Being 
pertains with equal primordiality both to an understanding of something 
like a 'world', and to the understanding of the Being of those entities 
which become accessible within the world. 3 So whenever an ontology 
takes for its theme entities whose character of Being is other than that of 
Dasein, it has its own foundation and motivation in Dasein's own ontical 
structure, in which a pre-ontological understanding of Being is comprised 
as a definite characteristic. 

1 '. . . dass es je sein Sein als seiniges zu sein hat . . 

2 We shall translate 'existenziell* by 'existentiell*, and 'existenzial* by 'existential* 
There seems to be little reason for resorting to the more elaborate neologisms proposed by 
other writers. 

3 '. . , innerhalb der Welt . . .' Heidegger uses at least three expressions which 
might be translated as 'in the world* : 'innerhalb der Welt*, 'in der Welt', and the adjective 
(or adverb) 'innerweltlich'. We shall translate these respectively by 'within the world', 
'in the world*, and 'within-the-world'. 

34 Being and Time Int. I 

Therefore fundamental ontology, from which alone all other ontologies 
can take their rise, must be sought in the existential analytic of Dasein. 

Dasein accordingly takes priority over all other entities in several ways. 
The first priority is an ontical one: Dasein is an entity whose Being has the 
determinate character of existence. The second priority is an ontological 
one : Dasein is in itself Ontological', because existence is thus determinative 
for it. But with equal primordiality Dasein also possesses — as constitutive 
for its understanding of existence — an understanding of the Being of all 
entities of a character other than its own. Dasein has therefore a third 
priority as providing the ontico-ontological condition for the possibility 
of any ontologies. Thus Dasein has turned out to be, more than any other 
entity, the one which must first be interrogated ontologically. 

But the roots of the existential analytic, on its part, are ultimately 
existentiell, that is, onticaL Only if the inquiry of philosophical research is 
itself seized upon in an existentiell manner as a possibility of the Being 
of each existing Dasein, does it become at all possible to disclose the 
exist entiality of existence and to undertake an adequately founded onto- 
logical problematic. But with this, the ontical priority of the question of 
being has also become plain. 

Dasein's ontico-ontological priority was seen quite early, though 
Dasein itself was not grasped in its genuine ontological structure, and did 
not even become a problem in which this structure was sought. Aristotle 
says: rj $ v xh ™ ° vra 7 ™ s> c<mv. vi "Man's soul is, in a certain way, 
entities." The 'soul' which makes up the Being of man has atodTjois and 
v6t)(tis among its ways of Being, and in these it discovers all entities, both 
in the fact that they are, and in their Being as they are — that is, always 
in their Being. Aristotle's principle, which points back to the ontological 
thesis of Parmenides, is one which Thomas Aquinas has taken up in a 
characteristic discussion. Thomas is engaged in the task of deriving the 
'transcendentia* — those characters of Being which lie beyond every possible 
way in which an entity may be classified as coming under some generic 
kind of subject-matter (every modus specialis entis) 9 and which belong 
necessarily to anything, whatever it may be. Thomas has to demonstrate 
that the verum is such a transcendens. He does this by invoking an entity 
which, in accordance with its very manner of Being, is properly suited 
to 'come together with' entities of any sort whatever. This distinctive 
entity, the ens quod natum est convenire cum omni ente } is the soul (anima). y ** 
Here the priority of 'Dasein' over all other entities emerges, although it 
has not been ontologically clarified. This priority has obviously nothing 
in common with a vicious subjectivizing of the totality of entities. 

By indicating Dasein's ontico-ontological priority in this provisional 

Int. I Being and Time 35 

manner, we have grounded our demonstration that the question of Being 
is ontico-ontologically distinctive. But when we analysed the structure of 
this question as such (Section 2), we came up against a distinctive way 
in which this entity functions in the very formulation of that question. 
Dasein then revealed itself as that entity which must first be worked out 
in an ontologically adequate manner, if the inquiry is to become a trans- 
parent one. But now it has been shown that the ontological analytic of 
Dasein in general is what makes up fundamental ontology, so that Dasein 
functions as that entity which in principle is to be interrogated beforehand 
as to its Being. 

If to Interpret the meaning of Being becomes our task, Dasein is not 
only the primary entity to be interrogated; it is also that entity which 
already comports itself, in its Being, towards what we are asking about 
when we ask this question. But in that case the question of Being is nothing 
other than the radicalization of an essential tendency-of-Being which 
belongs to Dasein itself— the pre-ontological understanding of Being. 



5. The Ontological Analytic of Dasein as Laying Bare the Horizon for an 
Interpretation of the Meaning of Being in General 
In designating the tasks of 'formulating* the question of Being, we have 
shown not only that we must establish which entity is to serve as our 
primary object of interrogation, but also that the right way of access to this 
entity is one which we must explicitly make our own and hold secure. We 
have already discussed which entity takes over the principal role within 
the question of Being. But how are we, as it were, to set our sights towards 
this entity, Dasein, both as something accessible to us and as something 
to be understood and interpreted? 

In demonstrating that Dasein in ontico-ontologically prior, we may 
have misled the reader into supposing that this entity must also be what 
is given as ontico-ontologically primary not only in the sense that it can 
itself be~grasped 'immediately', but also in that the kind of Being which 
it possesses is presented just as 'immediately'. Ontically, of course, Dasein 
is not only close to us — even that which is closest : we are it, each of us, 
we ourselves. In spite of this, or rather for just this reason, it is ontologically 
that which is farthest. To be sure, its ownmost Being is such that it has 
an understanding of that Being, and already maintains itself in each case 
as if its Being has been interpreted in some manner. But we are certainly 
not saying that when Dasein's own Being is thus interpreted pre-ontologi- 
cally in the way which lies closest, this interpretation can be taken over 
as an appropriate clue, as if this way of understanding Being is what must 
emerge when one's ownmost state of Being is considered 1 as an onto- 
logical theme. The kind of Being which belongs to Dasein is rather such 
that, in understanding its own Being, it has a tendency to do so in terms 
of that entity towards which it comports itself proximally and in a way 
which is essentially constant — in terms of the 'world'. In Dasein itself, 
and therefore in its own understanding of Being, the way the world is 

1 'Besinnung'. The earliest editions have 'Bestimmung' instead. 

Int. II Being and Time 37 

understood is, as we shall show, reflected back ontologically upon the way 
in which Dasein itself gets interpreted. 

Thus because Dasein is ontico-ontologically prior, its own specific state 
of Being (if we understand this in the sense of Dasein's 'categorial 
structure') remains concealed from it. Dasein is ontically 'closest' to itself 
and ontologically farthest; but pre-ontologically it is surely not a stranger. 

Here we have merely indicated provisionally that an Interpretation of 
this entity is confronted with peculiar difficulties grounded in the kind of 
Being which belongs to the object taken as our theme and to the very 
behaviour of so taking it. These difficulties are not grounded in any short- 
comings of the cognitive powers with which we are endowed, or in the 
lack of a suitable way of conceiving — a lack which seemingly would not 
be hard to remedy. 

Not only, however, does an understanding of Being belong to Dasein, 
but this understanding develops or decays along with whatever kind of 
Being Dasein may possess at the time; accordingly there are many ways in 
which it has been interpreted, and these are all at Dasein's disposal. 
Dasein's ways of behaviour, its capacities, powers, possibilities, and vicis- 
situdes, have been studied with varying extent in philosophical psychology, 
in anthropology, ethics, and 'political science', in poetry, biography, and 
the writing of history, each in a different fashion. But the question remains 
whether these interpretations of Dasein have been carried through with 
a primordial existentiality comparable to whatever existentiell prim- 
ordiality they may have possessed. Neither of these excludes the 
other but they do not necessarily go together. Existentiell interpre- 
tation can demand an existential analytic, if indeed we conceive of 
philosophical cognition as something possible and necessary. Only when 
the basic structures of Dasein have been adequately worked out with 
explicit orientation towards the problem of Being itself, will what we 
have hitherto gained in interpreting Dasein get its existential justification. 

Thus an analytic of Dasein must remain our first requirement in the 
question of Being. But in that case the problem of obtaining and securing 
the kind of access which will lead to Dasein, becomes even more a burning 
one. To put it negatively, we have no right to resort to dogmatic construc- 
tions and to apply just any idea of Being and actuality to this entity, no 
matter how 'self-evident' that idea may be ; nor may any of the 'cate- 
gories' which such an idea prescribes be forced upon Dasein without 
proper ontological consideration. We must rather choose such a way of 
access and such a kind of interpretation that this entity can show itself in 
itself and from itself [an ihm selbst von ihm selbst her]. And this 
means that it is to be shown as it is proximally and for the most part-*— 

38 Being and Time Int. II 

in its average everydayness. 1 In this everydayness there are certain structures 
which we shall exhibit — not just any accidental structures, but essential 
ones which, in every kind of Being that factical Dasein may possess, 
persist as determinative for the character of its Being. Thus by having 
regard 5 for the basic state of Dasein's everydayness, we shall bring out the 
Being of this entity in a preparatory fashion. 

When taken in this way, the analytic of Dasein remains wholly oriented 
towards the guiding task of working out the question of Being. Its limits 
are thus determined. It cannot attempt to provide a complete ontology of 
Dasein, which assuredly must be constructed if anything like a 'philo- 
sophical* anthropology is to have a philosophically adequate basis. 2 

If our purpose is to make such an anthropology possible, or to lay its 
ontological foundations, our Interpretation will provide only some of the 
'pieces', even though they are by no means inessential ones. Our 
analysis of Dasein, however, is not only incomplete ; it is also, in the first 
instance, provisional. It merely brings out the Being of this entity, without 
Interpreting its meaning. It is rather a preparatory procedure by which 
the horizon for the most primordial way of interpreting Being may be 
laid bare. Once we have arrived at that horizon, this preparatory analytic 
of Dasein will have to be repeated on a higher and authentically onto- 
logical basis. 

We shall point to temporality 3 as the meaning of the Being of that entity 
which we call "Dasein". If this is to be demonstrated, those structures of 
Dasein which we shall provisionally exhibit must be Interpreted over 
again as modes of temporality. In thus interpreting Dasein as temporality, 
however, we shall not give the answer to our leading question as to the 
meaning of Being in general. But the ground will have been prepared for 
obtaining such an answer. 

1 'Und zwar soil sie das Seiende in dem zeigcn, wie cs zunachst und zumeist ist, in seiner 
durchschnittlichen Alltaglkhkeit. 1 The phrase 'zunachst und zumeist* is one that occurs 
many times, though Heidegger does not explain it until Section 71 (H. 370 below), where 
'Alltaglichkeit' too gets explained. On 'zunachst* see our note 1, p. 25, H. 6. 

2 The ambiguity of the pronominal references in this sentence and the one before it, 
reflects a similar ambiguity in the German. (The English-speaking reader should be 
reminded that the kind of philosophical 'anthropology* which Heidegger has in mind 
is a study of man in the widest sense, and is not to be confused with the empirical sciences 
of 'physical* and 'cultural* anthropology.) 

3 *£«7/t<rAA;«f*. While it is tempting to translate the adjective 'zeitlich* and the noun 
'Zeitlichkeit' by their most obvious English cognates, 'timely* and 'timeliness*, this would 
be entirely misleading; for 'temporal* and 'temporality* come much closer to what 
Heidegger has in mind, not only when he is discussing these words in their popular 
senses (as he does on the following page) but even when he is using them in his own special 
sense, as in Section 65 below. (See especially H. 326 below, where 'Zeitlichkeit* is defined.) 
On the other hand, he occasionally uses the noun 'Temporalitat* and the adjective 
'temporal' in a sense which he will explain later (H. 19). We shall translate these by 
'Temporality' and 'Temporal', with initial capitals. 

Int. II Being and Time 39 

We have already intimated that Dasein has a pre-ontological Being as 
its ontically constitutive state. Dasein is in such a way as to be some- 
thing which understands something like Being. 1 Keeping this inter- 
connection firmly in mind, we shall show that whenever Dasein tacitly 
understands and interprets something like Being, it does so with 
time as its standpoint. Time must be brought to light — and genuinely 
conceived — as the horizon for all understanding of Being and for any 
way of interpreting it. In order for us to discern this, time needs to be 
explicated primordially as the horizon for the understanding of Being, and in terms 
of temporality as the Being of Dasein, which understands Being. This task as a 
whole requires that the conception of time thus obtained shall be dis- 
tinguished from the way in which it is ordinarily understood. This 
ordinary way of understanding it has become explicit in an interpretation 
precipitated in the traditional concept of time, which has persisted from 
Aristode to Bergson and even later. Here we must make clear that this 
conception of time and, in general, the ordinary way of understanding it, 
have sprung from temporality, and we must show how this has come 
about. We shall thereby restore to the ordinary conception the autonomy 
which is its rightful due, as against Bergson's thesis that the time one has 
in mind in this conception is space. 

'Time' has long functioned as an ontological — or rather an ontical — 
criterion for naively discriminating various realms of entities. A distinc- 
tion has been made between 'temporal' entities (natural processes and 
historical happenings) and 'non-temporal' entities (spatial and numerical 
relationships). We are accustomed to contrasting the 'timeless' meaning 
of propositions with the 'temporal' course of propositional assertions. It is 
also held that there is a 'cleavage 9 between 'temporal* entities and the 
'supra-temporal' eternal, and efforts are made to bridge this over. Here 
'temporal 5 always means simply being [seiend] 'in time' — a designation 
which, admittedly, is still pretty obscure. The Fact remains that time, in 
the sense of 'being [sein] in time', functions as a criterion for distinguishing 
realms of Being. Hitherto no one has asked or troubled to investigate how 
time has come to have this distinctive ontological function, or with what 
right anything like time functions as such a criterion; nor has anyone 
asked whether the authentic ontological relevance which is possible for 
it, gets expressed when "time" is used in so naively ontological a manner. 
'Time' has acquired this 'self-evident' ontological function 'of its own 
accord', so to speak; indeed it has done so within the horizon of the way 
it is ordinarily understood. And it has maintained itself in this function 
to this day. 

1 'Dasein ist in der Weise, seiend so etwas wie Sein zu verstehen.' 

40 Being and Time Int. II 

In contrast to all this, our treatment of the question of the meaning of 
Being must enable us to show that the central problematic of all ontology is 
rooted in the phenomenon of time, if rightly seen and rightly explained, and we 
must show how this is the case. 

If Being is to be conceived in terms of time, and if, indeed, its various 
modes and derivatives are to become intelligible in their respective 
modifications and derivations by taking time into consideration, then 
Being itself (and not merely entities, let us say, as entities 'in time') is 
thus made visible in its 'temporal' character. But in that case, 'temporal' 
can no longer mean simply 'being in time'. Even the 'non-temporal' and 
the 'supra-temporal' are 'temporal' with regard to their Being, and not 
just privatively by contrast with something 'temporal' as an entity 'in 
time', but in a positive sense, though it is one which we must first explain. 
In both pre-philosophical and philosophical usage the expression 'tem- 
poral' has been pre-empted by the signification we have cited; in the 
following investigations, however, we shall employ it for another significa- 
tion. Thus the way in which Being and its modes and characteristics have 
their meaning determined primordially in terms of time, is what we shall 
call its "Temporal" determinateness. 1 Thus the fundamental ontological 
task of Interpreting Being as such includes working out the Temporality of 
Being. In the exposition of the problematic of Temporality the question 
of the meaning of Being will first be concretely answered. 

Because Being cannot be grasped except by taking time into considera- 
tion, the answer to the question of Being cannot lie in any proposition that 
is blind and , isolated. The answer is not properly conceived if what it 
asserts propositionally is just passed along, especially if it gets circulated 
as a free-floating result, so that we merely get informed about a 
'standpoint' which may perhaps differ from the way this has hitherto 
been treated. Whether the answer is a 'new' one remains quite superficial 
and is of no importance. Its positive character must lie in its being ancient 
enough for us to learn to conceive the possibilities which the 'Ancients' 
have made ready for us. In its ownmost meaning this answer tells us that 
concrete ontological research must begin with an investigative inquiry 
which keeps within the horizon we have laid bare; and this is all that it 
tells us. 

If, then, the answer to the question of Being is to provide the clues for 
our research, it cannot be adequate until it brings us the insight that the 
specific kind of Being of ontology hitherto, and the vicissitudes of its 
inquiries, its findings, and its failures, have been necessitated in the very 
character of Dasein. 

1 'seine temporal* Bestimmtheit'. See our note 3, p. 38, H. 17 above. 

Int. II Being and Time 41 

6". The Task of Destroying the History of Ontology 

All research — and not least that which operates within the range of the 
central question of Being — is an ontical possibility of Dasein. DasehVs 
Being finds its meaning in temporality. But temporality is also the con- 
dition which makes historicality possible as a temporal kind of Being 
which Dasein itself possesses, regardless of whether or how Dasein is an 
entity 'in time'. Historicality, as a determinate character, is prior to what 
is called "history" (world-historical historizing). 1 

"Historicality" stands for the state of Being that is constitutive for 
Dasein's 'historizing' as such; only on the basis of such 'historizing' is 
anything like 'world-history' possible or can anything belong historically 
to world-history. In its factical Being, any Dasein is as it already was, and 
it is 'what' it already was. It is its past, whether explicidy or not. And this 
is so not only in that its past is, as it were, pushing itself along 'behind' it, 
and that Dasein possesses what is past as a property which is still present- 
at-hand and which sometimes has after-effects upon it: Dasein 'is' its past 
in the way of its own Being, which, to put it roughly, 'historizes' out of its 
future on each occasion. 2 Whatever the way of being it may have at the 
time, and thus with whatever understanding of Being it may possess, 
Dasein has grown up both into and in a traditional way of interpreting 
itself: in terms of this it understands itself proximally and, within a certain 
range, constantly. By this understanding, the possibilities of its Being are 
disclosed and regulated. Its own past — and this always means the past of 
its 'generation' — is not something which follows along after Dasein, but 
something which already goes ahead of it. 

This elemental historicality of Dasein may remain hidden from Dasein 
itself. But there is a way by which it can be discovered and given proper 
attention. Dasein can discover tradition, preserve it, and study it explicitly. 
The discovery of tradition and the disclosure of what it 'transmits' and 
how this is transmitted, can be taken hold of as a task in its own right. In 
this way Dasein brings itself into the kind of Being which consists in 
historiological inquiry and research. But historiology — or more precisely 
historicity 3 — is possible as a kind of Being which the inquiring Dasein may 

1 Veltgeschichtliches Geschehen*. While the verb 'geschehen' ordinarily means to 
'happen*, and will often be so translated, Heidegger stresses its etymological kinship to 
'Geschichte' or 'history*. To bring out this connection, we have coined the verb 'historize', 
which might be paraphrased as to 'happen in a historical way* ; we shall usually translate 
'geschehen* this way in contexts where history is being discussed. We trust that the reader 
will keep in mind that such 'historizing* is characteristic of all historical entities, and is not 
the sort of thing that is done primarily by historians (as 'philosophizing', for instance, 
is done by philosophers). (On 'world-historical* see H. 381 ff.) 

2 'Das Dasein "ist** seine Vergangenheit in der Weise seines Seins, das, roh gesagt, 
jeweils aus seiner Zukunft her "geschieht*V 1 t , 

3 'Historizitat*. Gf. note 2, p. 31. H. 10 above. 

42 Being and Time Int. II 

possess, only because historicality is a determining characteristic for 
Dasein in the very basis of its Being. If this historicality remains hidden 
from Dasein, and as long as it so remains, Dasein is also denied the 
possibility of historiological inquiry or the discovery of history. If his- 
toriology is wanting, this is not evidence against Dasein's historicality; on 
the contrary, as a deficient mode 1 of this state of Being, it is evidence for 
it. Only because it is 'historical' can an era be unhistoriological. 

On the other hand, if Dasein has seized upon its latent possibility not 
only of making its own existence transparent to itself but also of inquiring 
into the meaning of existentiality itself (that is to say, of previously 
inquiring into the meaning of Being in general) , and if by such inquiry 
its eyes have been opened to its own essential historicality, then one cannot 
fail to see that the inquiry into Being (the ontico-ontological necessity of 
which we have already indicated) is itself characterized by historicality. 
The ownmost meaning of Being which belongs to the inquiry into Being 
as an historical inquiry, gives us the assignment [Anweisung] of inquiring 
into the history of that inquiry itself, that is, of becoming historiological. 
In working out the question of Being, we must heed this assignment, so 
that by positively making the past our own, we may bring ourselves into 
full possession of the ownmost possibilities of such inquiry. The question 
of the meaning of Being must be carried through by explicating Dasein 
beforehand in its temporality and historicality; the question thus brings 
itself to the point where it understands itself as historiological. 

Our preparatory Interpretation of the fundamental structures of 
Dasein with regard to the average kind of Being which is closest to it 
(a kind of Being in which it is therefore proximally historical as well), 
will make manifest, however, not only that Dasein is inclined to fall back 
upon its world (the world in which it is) and to interpret itself in terms of 
that world by its reflected light, but also that Dasein simultaneously falls 
prey to the tradition of which it has more or less explicitly taken hold. 2 
This tradition keeps it from providing its own guidance, whether in 

1 'defizienter Modus*. Heidegger likes to think of certain characteristics as occurring 
in various ways or * modes*, among which may be included certain ways of 'not occurring* 
or 'occurring only to an inadequate extent' or, in general, occurring 'deficiently*. It is as 
if zero and the negative integers were to be thought of as representing 'deficient modes of 
being a positive integer*. 

2 '. . . das Dasein hat nicht nur die Geneigtheit, an seine Welt, in der es ist, zu verfallen 
and reluzent aus ihr her sich auszulegen, Dasein verfallt in eins damit auch seiner mehr 
oder minder ausdriicklich ergriffenen Tradition.* The verb 'verfallen* is one which 
Heidegger will use many times. Though we shall usually translate it simply as 'fall*, it 
has the connotation of deteriorating, collapsing, or falling down. Neither our 'fall back upon* 
nor our 'falls prey to' is quite right: but 'fall upon' and 'fall on to*, which are more literal, 
would be misleading for 'an . . . zu verfallen'; and though 'falls to the lot of* and 'devolves 
upon* would do well for 'verfallt' with the dative in other contexts, they will not do so 
well here. 

Int. II Being and Time 43 

inquiring or in choosing. This holds true — and by no means least — for that 
understanding which is rooted in Dasein's ownmost Being, and for the 
possibility of developing it — namely, for ontological understanding. 

When tradition thus becomes master, it does so in such a way that what 
it transmits' is made so inaccessible, proximally and for the most part, 
that it rather becomes concealed. Tradition takes what has come down to 
us and delivers it over to self-evidence; it blocks our access to those 
primordial 'sources' from which the categories and concepts handed down 
to us have been in part quite genuinely drawn. 1 Indeed it makes us forget 
that they have had such an origin, and makes us suppose that the neces- 
sity of going back to these sources is something which we need not even 
understand. Dasein has had its historicality so thoroughly uprooted by 
tradition that it confines its interest to the multiformity of possible types, 
directions, and standpoints of philosophical activity in the most exotic 
and alien of cultures; and by this very interest it seeks to veil the fact that 
it has no ground of its own to stand on. Consequently, despite all its 
historiological interests and all its zeal for an Interpretation which is 
philologically 'objective' ["sachliche"], Dasein no longer understands the 
most elementary conditions which would alone enable it to go back to 
the past in a positive manner and make it productively its own. 

We have shown at the outset (Section 1) not only that the question of 
the meaning of Being is one that has not been attended to and one that 
has been inadequately formulated, but that it has become quite forgotten 
in spite of all our interest in 'metaphysics'. Greek ontology and its history 
— which, in their numerous filiations and distortions, determine the con- 
ceptual character of philosophy even today — prove that when Dasein 
understands either itself or Being in general, it does so in terms of the 
'world', and that the ontology which has thus arisen has deteriorated 
[verfallt] to a tradition in which it gets reduced to something self-evident 
— merely material for reworking, as it was for Hegel. In the Middle Ages 
this uprooted Greek ontology became a fixed body of doctrine. Its syste- 
matics, however, is by no means a mere joining together of traditional 
pieces into a single edifice. Though its basic conceptions of Being have 
been taken over dogmatically from the Greeks, a great deal of unpre- 
tentious work has been carried on further within these limits. With the 
peculiar character which the Scholastics gave it, Greek ontology has, in 
its essentials, travelled the path that leads through the Disputationes rnetar 
physicae of Suarez to the 'metaphysics' and transcendental philosophy of 
modern times, determining even the foundations and the aims of Hegel's 

1 In this passage^Heidegger juxtaposes a number of words beginning with the prefix 
'iiber-'; 'ubergibt' ('transmits*); 'iiberantwortet' ('delivers over*); 'das Uberkommene , 
('what has come down to us*) ; 'uberlieferten* ('handed down to us*). 

44 Being and Time Int. II 

*logic\ In the course of this history certain distinctive domains of Being 
have come into view and have served as the primary guides for subsequent 
problematics: the ego cogito of Descartes, the subject, the "I", reason, 
spirit, person. But these all remain uninterrogated as to their Being and 
its structure, in accordance with the thoroughgoing way in which the 
question of Being has been neglected. It is rather the case that the cate- 
gorial content of the traditional ontology has been carried over to these 
entities with corresponding formalizations and purely negative restric- 
tions, or else dialectic has been called in for the purpose of Interpreting 
the substantiality of the subject ontologically. 

If the question of Being is to have its own history made transparent, 
then this hardened tradition must be loosened up, and the concealments 
which it has brought about 1 must be dissolved. We understand this task 
as one in which by taking the question of Being as our clue, we are to destroy 
the traditional content of ancient ontology until we arrive at those prim- 
ordial experiences in which we achieved our first ways of detemiining the 
nature of Being — the ways which have guided us ever since. 

In thus demonstrating the origin of our basic ontological concepts by 
an investigation in which their 'birth certificate' is displayed, we have 
nothing to do with a vicious relativizing of ontological standpoints. But 
this destruction is just as far from having the negative sense of shaking off 
the ontological tradition. We must, on the contrary, stake out the positive 
possibilities of that tradition, and this always means keeping it within its 
limits; these in turn are given factically in the way the question is for- 
mulated at the time, and in the way the possible field for investigation is 
thus bounded off. On its negative side, this destruction does not relate 
itself towards the past; its criticism is aimed at 'today* and at the prevalent 
way of treating the history of ontology, whether it is headed towards 
doxography, towards intellectual history, or towards a history of problems. 
But to bury the past in nullity [Nichtigkeit] is not the purpose of this 
destruction; its aim is positive; its negative function remains unexpressed 
and indirect. 

The destruction of the history of ontology is essentially bound up with 
the way the question of Being is formulated, and it is possible only within 
such a formulation. In the framework of our treatise, which aims at working 
out that question in principle, we can carry out this destruction only with 
regard to stages of that history which are in principle decisive. 

In line with the positive tendencies of this destruction, we must in 
the first instance raise the question whether and to what extent the 

1 . . dcr durch sic gezeitigten Verdeckungen.' The verb 'zeitigen* will appear fre- 
quently in later chapters. See H. 304 and our note ad loc. 

Int. II Being and Time 45 

Interpretation of Being and the phenomenon of time have been brought 
together thematically in the course of the history of ontology, and whether 
the problematic of Temporality required for this has ever been worked 
out in principle or ever could have been. The first and only person who 
has gone any stretch of the way towards investigating the dimension of 
Temporality or has even let himself be drawn hither by the coercion of 
the phenomena themselves is Kant. Only when we have established the 
problematic of Temporality, can we succeed in casting light on the 
obscurity of his doctrine of the schematism. But this will also show us 
why this area is one which had to remain closed off to him in its real 
dimensions and its central ontological function. Kant himself was aware 
that he was venturing into an area of obscurity: 'This schematism of our 
understanding as regards appearances and their mere form is an art 
hidden in the depths of the human soul, the true devices of which are 
hardly ever to be divined from Nature and laid uncovered before our 
eyes.' 1 Here Kant shrinks back, as it were, in the face of something which 
must be brought to light as a theme and a principle if the expression 
"Being" is to have any demonstrable meaning. In the end, those very 
phenomena which will be exhibited under the heading of 'Temporality' 
in our analysis, are precisely those most covert judgments of the 'common 
reason' for which Kant says it is the 'business of philosophers' to provide 
an analytic. 

In pursuing this task of destruction with the problematic of Temporality 
as our clue, we shall try to Interpret the chapter on the schematism and 
the Kantian doctrine of time, taking that chapter as our point of depar- 
ture. At the same time we shall show why Kant could never achieve an 
insight into the problematic of Temporality. There were two things that 
stood in his way: in the first place, he altogether neglected the problem 
of Being; and, in connection with this, he failed to provide an ontology 
with Dasein as its theme or (to put this in Kantian language) to give a 
preliminary ontological analytic of the subjectivity of the subject. Instead 
of this, Kant took over Descartes' position quite dogmatically, notwith- 
standing all the essential respects in which he had gone beyond him. 
Furthermore, in spite of the fact that he was bringing the phenomenon 
of time back into the subject again, his analysis of it remained oriented 
towards the traditional way in which time had been ordinarily under- 
stood; in the long run this kept him from working out the phenomenon 
of a 'transcendental determination of time' in its own structure and func- 
tion. Because of this double effect of tradition the decisive connection 
between time and the '/ think' was shrouded in utter darkness; it did not 
even become a problem. 

46 Being and Time 4 Int. II 

In taking over Descartes' ontological position Kant made an essential 
omission: he failed to provide an ontology of Dasein. This omission was 
a decisive one in the spirit [im Sinne] of Descartes' ownmost Tendencies. 
With the *cogito sum 9 Descartes had claimed that he was putting philo- 
sophy on a new and firm footing. But what he left undetermined when he 
began in this 'radical' way, was the kind of Being which belongs to the 
res cogitans, or — more precisely — the meaning of the Being of the 'sum*. 1 By 
working out the unexpressed ontological foundations of the ( cogito sum\ we 
shall complete our sojourn at the second station along the path of our 
destructive retrospect of the history of ontology. Our Interpretation will 
not only prove that Descartes had to neglect the question of Being alto- 
gether; it will also show why he came to suppose that the absolute 'Being- 
certain' ["Gewisssein"] of the cogito exempted him from raising the ques- 
tion of the meaning of the Being which this entity possesses. 

Yet Descartes not only continued to neglect this and thus to accept a 
completely indefinite ontological status for the res cogitans sive mens sive 
animus ['the thing which cognizes, whether it be a mind or spirit'] : he 
regarded this entity as a fundamentum inconcussum, and applied the medieval 
ontology to it in carrying through the fundamental considerations of his 
Meditationes. He defined the res cogitans ontologically as an ens; and in the 
medieval ontology the meaning of Being for such an ens had been fixed 
by understanding it as an ens creatum. God, as ens infinitum, was the ens 
increatum. But createdness [Geschaffenheit] in the widest sense of 
something's having been produced [Hergestelltheit], was an essential 
item in the structure of the ancient conception of Being. The seemingly 
new beginning which Descartes proposed for philosophizing has revealed 
itself as the implantation of a baleful prejudice, which has kept later 
generations from making any thematic ontological analytic of the 'mind' 
["Gemutes"] such as would take the question of Being as a clue and 
would at the same time come to grips critically with the traditional 
ancient ontology. 

Everyone who is acquainted with the middle ages sees that Descartes is 
'dependent' upon medieval scholasticism and employs its terminology. 
But with this 'discovery' nothing is achieved philosophically as long as it 
remains obscure to what a profound extent the medieval ontology has 
influenced the way in which posterity has determined or failed to deter- 
mine the ontological character of the res cogitans. The full extent of this 
cannot be estimated until both the meaning and the limitations of the 
ancient ontology have been exhibited in terms of an orientation directed 

1 We follow the later editions in reading *der Seinssinn des "sum" \ The earlier editions 
have an anacoluthic 'den* for 'der'. 

Int. II Being and Time 47 

towards the question of Being. In other words, in our process of destruc- 
tion we find ourselves faced with the task of Interpreting the basis of the 
ancient ontology in the light of the problematic of Temporality. When 
this is done, it will be manifest that the ancient way of interpreting the 
Being of entities is oriented towards the 'world' or 'Nature 5 in the widest 
sense, and that it is indeed in terms of 'time' that its understanding of 
Being is obtained. The outward evidence for this (though of course it is 
merely outward evidence) is the treatment of the meaning of Being as 
Ttapovula or ovvla, which signifies, in ontologico-Temporal terms, 
'presence' ["Anwesenheit"]. 1 Entities are grasped in their Being as 'pre- 
sence'; this means that they are understood with regard to a definite mode 
of time— the 'Present' 2 

The problematic of Greek ontology, like that of any other, must take 
its clues from Dasein itself. In both ordinary and philosophical usage, 
Dasein, man's Being, is 'defined' as the £coov Xoyov e^ov — as that living 
thing whose Being is essentially determined by the potentiality for dis- 
course. 3 Xiytw is the clue for arriving at those structures of Being which 
belong to the entities we encounter in addressing ourselves to anything 
or speaking about it [im Ansprechen und Besprechen]. (Cf. Section 7 b.) 
This is why the ancient ontology as developed by Plato turns into 'dialec- 
tic'. As the ontological clue gets progressively worked out — namely, in 
the 'hermeneutic' of the Xoyos — it becomes increasingly possible to grasp 
the problem of Being in a more radical fashion. The 'dialectic', which has 
been a genuine philosophical embarrassment, becomes superfluous. That 

1 The noun ovula is derived from one of the stems used in conjugating the irregular 
verb €lvai 7 ('to be') ; in the Aristotelian tradition it is usually translated as 'substance', 
though translators of Plato are more likely to write 'essence 1 , 'existence*, or 'being*. 
Heidegger suggests that ovala is to be thought of as synonymous with the derivative 
noun napovoia ('being-at', 'presence'). As he points out, irapovola has a close 
etymological correspondence with the German 'Anwesenheit', which is similarly derived 
from the stem of a verb meaning *to be' (Cf. O.H.G. 'wesan') and a prefix of the place 
or time at which ('an-') . We shall in general translate 'Anwesenheit' as 'presence', and 
the participle 'anwesend' as some form of the expression 'have presence'. 

2 'die "Gegenwart" '. While this noun may, like irapovoia or 'Anwesenheit', mean the 
presence of someone at some place or on some occasion, it more often means the present, as 
distinguished from the past and the future. In its etymological root-structure, however, it 
means a waiting-towards. While Heidegger seems to think of all these meanings as somehow 
fused, we shall generally translate this noun as 'the Present', reserving 'in the present' for 
the corresponding adjective 'gegenwartig'. 

3 The phrase f<3ov Xoyov €%ov is traditionally translated as 'rational animal', on the 
assumption that Xoyos refers to the faculty of reason. Heidegger, however, points out that 
Xoyos is derived from the same root as the verb Xeyciv ('to talk', 'to hold discourse'); 
he identifies this in turn with vo€iv ('to cognize', 'to be aware of, 'to know'), and calls 
attention to the fact that the same stem is found in the adjective SuiAcktucos ('dialectical'). 
(See also H. 165 below.) He thus interprets Xoyos as 'Rede', which we shall usually 
translate as 'discourse' or 'talk', depending on the context. See Section 7 b below (H. 
32 rT.) and Sections 34 and 35, where 'Rede' will be defined and distinguished both from 
'Sprache' ('language') and from 'Gerede' ('idle talk') (H. 160 ff.). 

48 Being and Time Int. II 

is why Aristotle 'no longer has any understanding' of it, for he has put it 
on a more radical footing and raised it to a new level [aufhob]. Xeyew 
itself — or rather voetv, that simple awareness of something present-at- 
hand in its sheer presence-at-hand, 1 which Parmenides had already taken 
to guide him in his own interpretation of Being — has the Temporal 
structure of a pure 'making-present' of something. 2 Those entities which 
show themselves in this and for it, and which are understood as entities 
in the most authentic sense, thus get interpreted with regard to the 
Present; that is, they are conceived as presence (o vena). 3 

Yet the Greeks have managed to interpret Being in this way without 
any explicit knowledge of the clues which function here, without any 
acquaintance with the fundamental ontological function of time or even 
any understanding of it, and without any insight into the reason why this 
function is possible. On the contrary, they take time itself as one entity 
among other entities, and try to grasp it in the structure of its Being, 
though that way of understanding Being which they have taken as their 
horizon is one which is itself naively and inexplicitly oriented towards 

Within the framework in which we are about to work out the principles 
of the question of Being, we cannot present a detailed Temporal Inter- 
pretation of the foundations of ancient ontology, particularly not of its 
loftiest and purest scientific stage, which is reached in Aristode. Instead 
we shall give an interpretation of Aristotle's essay on time, 11 which may 
be chosen as providing a way of discriminating the basis and the limitations 
of the ancient science of Being. 

Aristotle's essay on time is the first detailed Interpretation of this 

1 *. . . von ctwas Vorhandcnem in seiner pur en Vorhandenheit . . The adjective 
'vorhanden* means literally 'beforoAhe hand', but this signification has long since given 
way to others. In ordinary German usage it may, for instance, be applied to the stock of 
goods which a dealer has 'on hand', or to the 'extant* works of an author; and in earlier 
philosophical writing it could be used, like the word 'Dasein' itself, as a synonym for the 
Latin 'existential Heidegger, however, distinguishes quite sharply between 'Dasein' and 
'Vorhandenheit', using the latter to designate a kind of Being which belongs to things 
other than Dasein. We shall translate 'vorhanden' as 'present-at-hand', and 'Vorhanden- 
heit' as 'presence-at-hand'. The reader must be careful not to confuse these expressions 
with our 'presence' ('Anwesenheit') and 'the Present' ('die Gegenwart'), etc., or with a 
few other verbs ^ind adjectives which we may find it convenient to translate by 'present'. 

2 \ . . des reinen "Gegenwartigens" von etwas'. The verb 'gegenwartigen', which is 
derived from the adjective 'gegenwartig', is not a normal German verb, but was used by 
Husserl and is used extensively by Heidegger. While we shall translate it by various forms 
of 'make present', it does not necessarily mean 'making physically present', but often 
means something like 'bringing vividly to mind'. 

8 'Das Seiende, das sich in ihm fur es zeigt und das als das eigentliche Seiende 
verstanden wird, erhalt demnach seine Auslegung in Riicksicht auf — Gegen-wart, 
d.h. es ist als Anwesenheit (ovala) begriffen.' The hyphenation of 'Gegen-wart' calls 
attention to the structure of this word in a way which cannot be reproduced in English. 
See note 2, p. 47, H. 25 above. The pronouns 'ihm' and 'es' presumably both refer back 
to Acyctv, though their reference is ambiguous, as our version suggests. 

Int. II Being and Time 49 

phenomenon which has come down to us. Every subsequent account of 
time, including Bergson's, has been essentially determined by it. When we 
analyse the Aristotelian conception, it will likewise become clear, as we 
go back, that the Kantian account of time operates within the structures 
which Aristode has set forth; this means that Kant's basic ontological 
orientation remains that of the Greeks, in spite of all the distinctions which 
arise in a new inquiry. 

The question of Being does not achieve its true concreteness until we 
have carried through the process of destroying the ontological tradition. 
In this way we can fully prove that the question of the meaning of Being 
is one that we cannot avoid, and we can demonstrate what it means to 
talk about 'restating' this question. 

In any investigation in this field, where 'the thing itself is deeply 
veiled' 111 one must take pains not to overestimate the results. For in 
such an inquiry one is constantly compelled to face the possibility 
of disclosing an even more primordial and more universal horizon 
from which we may draw the answer to the question, "What is 
'Being'?" We can discuss such possibilities seriously and with positive 
results only if the question of Being has been reawakened and we have 
arrived at a field where we can come to terms with it in a way that can 
be controlled. 

If 7. The Phenomenological Method of Investigation 

In provisionally characterizing the object which serves as the theme of 
our investigation (the Being of entities, or the meaning of Being in general), 
it seems that we have also delineated the method to be employed. The task 
of ontology is to explain Being itself and to make the Being of entities 
stand out in full relief. And the method of ontology remains questionable 
in the highest degree as long as we merely consult those ontologies which 
have come down to us historically, or other essays of that character. Since the 
term "ontology" is used in this investigation in a sense which is formally 
broad, any attempt to clarify the method of ontology by tracing its history 
is automatically ruled out. 

When, moreover, we use the term "ontology", we are not talking about 
some definite philosophical discipline standing in interconnection with 
the others. Here one does not have to measure up to the tasks of some 
discipline that has been presented beforehand; on the contrary, only in 
terms of the objective necessities of definite questions and the kind of 
treatment which the 'things themselves' require, can one develop such a 

With the question of the meaning of Being, our investigation comes up 

50 Being and Time Int. II 

against the fundamental question of philosophy. This is one that must be 
treated phenomenologically. Thus our treatise does not subscribe to a 'stand- 
point* or represent any special 'direction' ; for phenomenology is nothing 
of either sort, nor can it become so as long as it understands itself. The 
expression 'phenomenology' signifies primarily a methodological concep- 
tion. This expression does not characterize the what of the objects of 
philosophical research as subject-matter, but rather the how of that 
research. The more genuinely a methodological concept is worked out 
and the more comprehensively it determines the principles on which a 
science is to be conducted, all the more primordially is it rooted in the way 
we come to terms with the things themselves, 1 and the farther is it 
removed from what we call "technical devices", though there are many 
such devices even in the theoretical disciplines. 

Thus the term 'phenomenology' expresses a maxim which can be for- 
mulated as 'To the things themselves! 5 It is opposed to all free-floating 
constructions and accidental findings; it is opposed to taking over any 
conceptions which only seem to have been demonstrated; it is opposed 
to those pseudo-questions which parade themselves as 'problems', often 
for generations at a time. Yet this maxim, one may rejoin, is abundantly 
self-evident, and it expresses, moreover, the underlying principle of any 
scientific knowledge whatsoever. Why should anything so self-evident be 
taken up explicitly in giving a title to a branch of research? In point of 
fact, the issue here is a kind of 'self-evidence' which we should like to 
bring closer to us, so far as it is important to do so in casting light upon 
the procedure of our treatise. We shall expound only the preliminary 
conception [Vorbegriff] of phenomenology. 

This expression has two components: "phenomenon" and "logos". 
Both of these go back to terms frpm the Greek : <f>aiv6fi€vov and \6yos. 
Taken superficially, the term "phenomenology" is formed like "theology", 
"biology", "sociology" — names which may be translated as "science of 
God", "science of life", "science of society". This would make pheno- 
menology the science of phenomena. We shall set forth the preliminary con- 
ception of phenomenology by characterizing what one has in mind in the 
term's two components, 'phenomenon' and 'logos', and by establishing 
the meaning of the name in which these are put together. The history of 

* The appeal to the 'Sachen selbst', which Heidegger presents as virtually a slogan for 
Husserl's phenomenology, is not easy to translate without giving misleading impressions. 
What Husserl has in mind is the 'things' that words may be found to signify when their 
significations are correctly intuited by the right kind of Anschauung. (Cf. his Logische 
Untersuckungen, vol. 2, part 1, second edition, Halle, 1913, p. 6.) We have followed Marvin 
Farber in adopting 'the things themselves'. (Cf. his The Foundation of Phenomenology, 
Cambridge, Mass., 1943, pp. 202-3.) Tne wor d 'Sache' will, of course, be translated in 
other ways also. 

Int. II Being and Time 51 

the word itself, which presumably arose in the Wolffian school, is here of 
no significance. 

A. The Concept of Phenomenon 
The Greek expression ^aivo'/xevov, to which the term 'phenomenon' 
goes back, is derived from the verb <f>atvco0ai 9 which signifies "to show 
itself". Thus <f>aw6fi€vov means that which shows itself, the manifest [das, 
was sich zeigt, das Sichzeigende, das Offenbare]. <f>alv€o8ai itself is a 
middle-voiced form which comes from <£<uVoj — to bring to the light of 
day, to put in the light. 0aivw comes from the stem <f>a — , like the 
light, that which is bright — in other words, that wherein something can 
become manifest, visible in itself. Thus we must keep in mind that the expres- 
sion 'phenomenon' signifies that which shows itself in itself the manifest. 
Accordingly the <f>aw6fi€va or 'phenomena' are the totality of what lies 
in the light of day or can be brought to the light — what the Greeks some- 
times identified simply with ra ovra (entities). Now an entity can show 
itself from itself [von ihm selbst her] in many ways, depending in each 
case on the kind of access we have to it. Indeed it is even possible for an 
entity to show itself as something which in itself it is not. When it shows 
itself in this way, it 'looks like something or other' ["sieht" . . . "so aus 
wie . , ."]. This kind of showing-itself is what we call "seeming" [Scheinen]. 
Thus in Greek too the expression <f>aiv6^i€vov ("phenomenon") signifies 
that which looks like something, that which is 'semblant', 'semblance' 
[das "Scheinbare", der "Schein"]. <Paiv6fievov dyaOov means some- 
thing good which looks like, but 'in actuality' is not, what it gives itself 
out to be. If we are to have any further understanding of the concept of 
phenomenon, everything depends on our seeing how what is designated 
in the first signification of <f>aw6fi€vov ('phenomenon' as that which shows 
itself) and what is designated in the second ('phenomenon' as semblance) 
are structurally interconnected. Only when the meaning of something is 
such that it makes a pretension of showing itself — that is, of being a phenome- 
non — can it show itself as something which it is not; only then can it 
'merely look like so-and-so'. When <f>atv6fX€vov signifies 'semblance', the 
primordial signification (the phenomenon as the manifest) is already 
included as that upon which the second signification is founded. We shall 
allot the term 'phenomenon' to this positive and primordial signification 
of <f>cuv6ii€vov 9 and distinguish "phenomenon" from "semblance", which 
is the privative modification of "phenomenon" as thus defined. But what 
both these terms express has proximally nothing at all to do with what is 
called an 'appearance', or still less a 'mere appearance'. 1 

1 . . was man "Erscheinung" oder gar "blosse Erscheinung" nennt.' Though the 
noun 'Erscheinung' and the verb 'erscheinen' behave so much like the English * appear- 
ance' and 'appear' that the ensuing discussion presents relatively few difficulties in this 


Being and Time 

Int. II 

This is what one is talking about when one speaks of the 'symptoms of 
a disease' ["Krankheitserscheinungen"]. Here one has in mind certain 
occurrences in the body which show themselves and which, in showing 
themselves a s thus showing themselves, 'indicate' ["indizieren"] some- 
thing which does not show itself. The emergence [Auftreten] of such 
occurrences, their showing-themselves, goes together with the Being- 
present-at-hand of disturbances which do not show themselves. Thus 
appearance, as the appearance 'of something', does not mean showing- 
itself ; it means rather the announcing-itself by [von] something which 
does not show itself, but which announces itself through something which 
does show itself. Appearing is a not-showing-itself But the 'not' we find 
here is by no means to be confused with the privative "not" which we 
used in defining the structure of semblance. 1 What appears does not show 
itself; and anything which thus fails to show itself, is also something which 
can never seem. 2 All indications, presentations, symptoms, and symbols 
have this basic formal structure of appearing, even though they differ 
among themselves. 

respect for the translator, the passage shows some signs of hasty construction, and a few 
comments may be helpful. We are told several times that 'appearance* and 'phenome- 
non' are to be sharply distinguished; yet we are also reminded that there is a sense in 
which they coincide, and even this sense seems to be twofold, though it is not clear that 
Heidegger is fully aware of this. The whole discussion is based upon two further distinc- 
tions: the distinction between 'showing* ('zeigen') and 'announcing* ('melden') and 
'bringing forth' ('hervorbringen'), and the distinction between ('*') that which 'shows 
itself (*das Sichzeigende') or which 'does the announcing' ('das Meldende*) or which 
'gets brought forth' ('das Hervorgebrachte*), and (>') that which 'announces itself* 

das Sichmeldende') or which does the bringing-forth. Heidegger is thus able to intro- 

uce the following senses of 'Erscheinung' or 'appearance' : 

1 a. an observable events, such as a symptom which announces a disease x by showing 

itself, and in or through which x announces itself without showing itself; 
lb. _/s showing-itself; , 
2. *'s announcing-itself in or through y; 

3a. the 'mere appearance' y which x may bring forth when x is of such a kind that its 
real nature can never be made manifest; 

3b. the 'mere appearance' which is the bringing-forth of a 'mere appearance' in sense 3a. 
Heidegger makes abundantly clear that sense 2 is the proper sense of 'appearance* and 
that senses 3a and 3b are the proper senses of 'mere appearance'. On H. 30 and 31 he 
concedes that sense ib corresponds to the primordial sense of 'phenomenon*; but his 
discussion on H. 28 suggests that ia corresponds to this more accurately, and he reverts 
to this position towards the end of H. 30. 

1 '. . . als welches es die Struktur des Scheins bestimmt.' (The older editions omit 
the 'es*.) 

2 'Was sich in der Weise nicht zeigt, wie das Erscheinende, kann auch nie scheinen.' 
This passage is ambiguous, but presumably 'das Erscheinende' is to be interpreted as the 
x of our note 1 , p. 5 1 , not our_y. The reader should notice that our standardized transla- 
tion of 'scheinen* as 'seem* is one which here becomes rather misleading, even though 
these words correspond fairly well in ordinary usage. In distinguishing between 'scheinen' 
and 'crscheinen', Heidegger seems to be insisting that 'scheinen* can be done only by 
the y which 'shows itself or 'does the announcing', not by the x which 'announces 
itself in or through^, even though German usage does not differentiate these verbs quite 
so sharply. 

Int. II Being and Time 53 

In spite of the fact that 'appearing' is never a showing-itself in the sense 
of "phenomenon", appearing is possible only by reason of a showing-itself 
of something. But this showing-itself, which helps to make possible the 
appearing, is not the appearing itself. Appearing is an announcing-itself [das 
Sich-melden] through something that shows itself. If one then says that with 
the word 'appearance' we allude to something wherein something appears 
without being itself an appearance, one has not thereby defined the 
concept of phenomenon: one has rather presupposed it. This presupposition, 
however, remains concealed; for when one says this sort of thing about 
'appearance', the expression 'appear' gets used in two ways. "That 
wherein something 'appears' " means that wherein something announces 
itself, and therefore does not show itself; and in the words [Rede] 'without 
being itself an "appearance" ', "appearance" signifies the showing-itself 
But this showing-itself belongs essentially to the 'wherein' in which some- 
thing announces itself. According to this, phenomena are never appearances, 
though on the other hand every appearance is dependent on phenomena. 
If one defines "phenomenon" with the aid of a conception of 'appearance' 
which is still unclear, then everything is stood on its head, and a 'critique' 
of phenomenology on this basis is surely a remarkable undertaking. 

So again the expression 'appearance' itself can have a double signifi- 
cation: first, appearing, in the sense of announcing-itself, as not-showing- 
itself; and next, that which does the announcing [das Meldende selbst] — 
that which in its showing-itself indicates something which does not show 
itself. And finally one can use "appearing" as a term for the genuine 
sense of "phenomenon" as showing-itself. If one designates these three 
different things as 'appearance', bewilderment is unavoidable. 

But this bewilderment is essentially increased by the fact that 'appear- 
ance' can take on still another signification. That which does the announc- 
ing — that which, in its showing-itself, indicates something non-manifest — 
may be taken as that which emerges in what is itself non-manifest, and 
which emanates [ausstrahlt] from it in such a way indeed that the non- 
manifest gets thought of as something that is essentially never manifest. 
When that which does the announcing is taken this way, "appearance" 
is tantamount to a "bringing forth" or "something brought forth", but 
something which does not make up the real Being of what brings it forth: 
here we have an appearance in the sense of 'mere appearance'. That 
which does the announcing and is brought forth does, of course, show itself, 
and in such a way that, as an emanation of what it announces, it keeps 
this very thing constantly veiled in itself. On the other hand, this not- 
showing which veils is not a semblance. Kant uses the term "appearance" 
in this twofold way. According to him "appearances" are, in the first 

54 Being and Time Int. II 

place, the 'objects of empirical intuition* : they are what shows itself in 
such intuition. But what thus shows itself (the "phenomenon" in the 
genuine primordial sense) is at the same time an 'appearance' as an 
emanation of something which hides itself in that appearance — an emana- 
tion which announces. 

In so far as a phenomenon is constitutive for 'appearance' in the signi- 
fication of announcing itself through something which shows itself, though 
such a phenomenon can privatively take the variant form of semblance, 
appearance too can become mere semblance. In a certain kind of lighting 
someone can look as if his cheeks were flushed with red ; and the redness 
which shows itself can be taken as an announcement of the Being-present- 
at-hand of a fever, which in turn indicates some disturbance in the 

"Phenomenon", the showing-itself-in-itself, signifies a distinctive way in 
which something can be encountered. 1 "Appearance", on the other hand, 
means a reference-relationship which i s in an entity itself, 2 and which 
is such that what does the referring (or the announcing) can fulfil its possible 
function only if it shows itself in itself and is thus a 'phenomenon'. Both 
appearance and semblance are founded upon the phenomenon, though in 
different ways. The bewildering multiplicity of 'phenomena' designated 
by the words "phenomenon", "semblance", "appearance", "mere appear- 
ance", cannot be disentangled unless the concept of the phenomenon is 
understood from the beginning as that which shows itself in itself. 

If in taking the concept of "phenomenon" this way, we leave indefinite 
which entities we consider as "phenomena", and leave it open whether 
what shows itself is an entity or rather some characteristic which an entity 
may have in its Being, then we have merely arrived at the formal concep- 
tion of "phenomenon". If by "that which shows itself" we understand 
those entities which are accessible through the empirical "intuition" in, 
let us say, Kant's sense, then the formal conception of "phenomenon" 
will indeed be legitimately employed. In this usage "phenomenon" has 
the signification of the ordinary conception of phenomenon. But this 
ordinary conception is not the phenomenological conception. If we keep 
within the horizon of the Kantian problematic, we can give an illustration 
of what is conceived phenomenologically as a "phenomenon", with 
reservations as to other differences; for we may then say that that which 
already shows itself in the appearance as prior to the "phenomenon" as 


1 *. . . eine ausgezeichnete Begegnisart von etwas.' The noun 'Begegnis' is derived from 
the verb 'begegnen', which is discussed in note 2, p. 70, H. 44 below. 

2 *. . . einen seienden Verweisungsbezug im Seienden selbst . . The verb 'verweisen*, 
which we shall translate as 'refer' or 'assign', depending upon the context, will receive 
further attention in Section 1 7 below. See also our note 2, p. 97, H. 68 below. 

Int. II Being and Time 55 

ordinarily understood and as accompanying it in every case, can, even 
though it thus shows itself unthematically, be brought thematically to 
show itself; and what thus shows itself in itself (the 'forms of the intuition') 
will be the "phenomena" of phenomenology. For manifestly space and 
time must be able to show themselves in this way — they must be able to 
become phenomena — if Kant is claiming to make a transcendental 
assertion grounded in the facts when he says that space is the a priori 
"inside-which" of an ordering. 1 

If, however, the phenomenological conception of phenomenon is 
to be understood at all, regardless of how much closer we may come 
to determining the nature of that which shows itself, this presupposes 
inevitably that we must have an insight into the meaning of the formal 
conception of phenomenon and its legitimate employment in an 
ordinary signification. — But before setting up our preliminary con- 
ception of phenomenology, we must also* define the signification of 
Xoyos so as to make clear in what sense phenomenology can be a 'science 
of phenomena at all. 

b. The Concept of the Logos 
In Plato and Aristotle the concept of the Xoyos has many competing 
significations, with no basic signification positively taking the lead. In 
fact, however, this is only a semblance, which will maintain itself as long 
as our Interpretation is unable to grasp the basic signification properly in 
its primary content. If we say that the basic signification of Xoyos is 
"discourse", 2 then this word-for-word translation will not be validated 
until we have determined what is meant by "discourse" itself. The real 
signification of "discourse", which is obvious enough, gets constantly 
covered up by the later history of the word Xoyos, and especially by the 
numerous and arbitrary Interpretations which subsequent philosophy has 
provided. Aoyos gets 'translated' (and this means that it is always getting 
interpreted) as "reason", "judgment", "concept", "definition", "ground", 
or "relationship". 3 But how can 'discourse' be so susceptible of modifica- 
tion that Xoyos can signify all the things we have listed, and in good 
scholarly usage? Even if Xoyos is understood in the sense of "assertion", 
but of "assertion" as 'judgment', this seemingly legitimate translation may 
still miss the fundamental signification, especially if "judgment" is con- 
ceived in a sense taken over from some contemporary 'theory of judgment'. 
Aoyos does not mean "judgment", and it certainly does not mean this 

1 Cf. Critique of Pure Reason 2 , 'Transcendental Aesthetic*, Section 1, p. 34. 

2 On Xoyos, 'Rede', etc., see note 3, p. 47, H. 25 above. 

3 *. . . Vernunft, Urteil, Begriff, Definition, Grund, Verhaltnis.' 

5^ Being and Time Int. II 

primarily — if one understands by "judgment" a way of 'binding' some- 
thing with something else, or the 'taking of a stand 1 (whether by 
acceptance or by rejection). 

Aoyos as "discourse" means^ rather the same as SrjXovv: to make 
manifest what one is 'talking about' in one's discourse. 1 Aristotle has 
explicated this function of discourse more precisely as <x7ro<£cuWcr0ai. iv 
The Xoyos lets something be seen (<f>alv€oOai), namely, what the dis- 
course is about; and it does so either for the one who is doing the talking 
(the medium) or for persons who are talking with one another, as the case 
may be. Discourse 'lets something be seen' dno . . . : that is, it lets us 
see something from the very thing which the discourse is about. 2 In 
discourse (a7ro<f> averts), so far as it is genuine, what is said [was geredet 
ist] is drawn from what the talk is about, so that discursive communication, 
in what it says [in ihrem Gesagten], makes manifest what it is talking 
about, and thus makes this accessible to the other party. This is the 
structure of the Xoyos as d-rro^avois. This mode of making manifest 
in the sense of letting something be seen by pointing it out, does not go 
with all kinds of 'discourse'. Requesting (e^), for instance, also makes 
manifest, but in a different way. 

When fully concrete, discoursing (letting something be seen) has the 
character of speaking [Sprechens] — vocal proclamation in words. The 
Xoyos is </>wvq y and indeed, fayy /xera <f>avraoia$ — an utterance in 
which something is sighted in each case. 

And only because the function of the Xoyos as airofavuis lies in 
letting something be seen by pointing it out, can the Xoyos have the 
structural form of <wvO € ot,s. Here "synthesis" does not mean a binding 
and linking together of representations, a manipulation of psychical 
occurrences where the 'problem'- arises of how these bindings, as some- 
thing inside, agree with something physical outside. Here the ow has a 
purely apophantical signification and means letting something be seen 
in its togetherness [Beisammen] with something — letting it be seen as some- 

Furthermore, because the Xoyos is a letting-something-be-seen, it can 
therefore be true or false. But here everything depends on our steering clear 
of any conception of truth which is construed in the sense of 'agreement'. 
This idea is by no means the primary one in the concept of aXrjOeta. 
The 'Being-true' of the Xoyos as aXiqB&kiv means that in Xiyeiv as 
a7To<f>alveodai the entities of which One is talking must be taken out of their 
hiddenness; one must let them be seen as something unhidden (aXr^Oes); 

1 \ . . offenbar machen das, wovon in der Rede "die Rede" ist.' 
^ . . . von dem selbst her, wovon die Rede ist.' 

Int. II Being and Time 57 

that is, they must be discovered. 1 Similarly, 'Being false' (i/sevoeoOai) 
amounts to deceiving in the sense of covering up [verdecken] : putting some- 
thing in front of something (in such a way as to let it be seen) and thereby 
passing it off as something which it is not. 

But because 'truth' has this meaning, and because the Xoyos is a 
definite mode of letting something be seen, the Xoyos is just not the kind of 
thing that can be considered as the primary 'locus' of truth. If, as has 
become quite customary nowadays, one defines "truth" as something that 
'really' pertains to judgment, 2 and if one then invokes the support of 
Aristotle with this thesis, not only is this unjustified, but, above all, the 
Greek conception of truth has been misunderstood. Aiodrjots, the sheer 
sensory perception of something, is 'true' in the Greek sense, and indeed 
more primordially than the Xoyos which we have been discussing. Just 
as seeing aims at colours, any alod^ais aims at its lota (those entities 
which are genuinely accessible only through it and for it); and to that 
extent this perception is always true. This means that seeing always 
discovers colours, and hearing always discovers sounds. Pure votlv is 
the perception of the simplest determinate ways of Being which entities 
as such may possess, and it perceives them just by looking at them. 3 
This voelv is what is 'true' in the purest and most primordial sense; that 
is to say, it merely discovers, and it does so in such a way that it can never 
cover up. This vo€iv can never cover up; it can never be false; it can at 
worst remain a non-perceiving 9 dyvoetv, not sufficing for straightforward 
and appropriate access. 

When something no longer takes the form of just letting something be 
seen, but is always harking back to something else to which it points, so 
that it lets something be seen as something, it thus acquires a synthesis- 
structure, and with this it takes over the possibility of Covering up. 4 The 
'truth of judgments', however, is merely the opposite of this covering-up, 
a secondary phenomenon of truth, with more than one kind of foundation. 5 
Both realism and idealism have — with equal thoroughness — missed the 
meaning of the Greek conception of truth, in terms of which only the 

lP The Greek words for 'truth' (1} <iAi?0«a, to oXtj64s) are compounded of the 
privative prefix d- ('not') and the verbal stem -Aa0- ('to escape notice', 'to be 
concealed'). The truth may thus be looked upon as that which is un-concealed, that 
which gets discovered or uncovered ('entdeckt'). 

a 'Wenn man . . . Wahrheit als das bestimmt, was "eigentlich" dem Urteil zukommt . . 

8 . . das schlicht hinsehende Vernehmen der einfachsten Seinsbestimmungen des 
Seienden als solchen.' 

* 'Was nicht mehr die Vollzugsform des reinen Sehenlassens hat, sondern je im Auf- 
weisen auf ein anderes rekurriert und so je etwas als etwas sehen lasst, das ubernimmt mit 
dieser Synthesisstruktur die Moglichkeit des Verdeckens.' 

6 '. . . ein mehr jack fundiertes Phanomen von Wahrheit.' A 'secondary' or ^founded' 
phenomenon is one which is based upon something else. The notion of 'Fundierung' is 
one which Heidegger has taken over from Husserl. See our note 1, p. 86, on H. 59 below. 

58 Being and Time Int. II 

possibility of something like a doctrine of ideas' can be understood as 
philosophical knowledge. 

And because the function of the Xoyos lies in merely letting something 
be seen, in letting entities be perceived [im Vernehmenlassen des Seienden], 
Xoyos can signify the reason [Vernunft]. And because, moreover, Xoyos is 
used not only with the signification of Xeyew but also with that of 
Xcyofjicvov (that which is exhibited, as such), and because the latter is 
nothing else than the xmottdpcvov which, as present-at-hand, already 
lies at the bottom [zum Grunde] of any procedure of addressing oneself to it or 
discussing it, Xoyos qua Xeyopevov means the ground, the ratio. And finally, 
because Xoyos as Xcyopevov can also signify that which, as something to 
which one addresses oneself, becomes visible in its relation to something in 
its 'relatedness', Xoyos acquires the signification of relation and relationship. 1 

This Interpretation of 'apophantical discourse* may suffice to clarify 
the primary function of the Xoyos. 

C. The Preliminary Conception of Phenomenology 
When we envisage concretely what we have set forth in our Interpreta- 
tion of 'phenomenon' and 'logos', we are struck by an inner relationship 
between the things meant by these terms. The expression "phenomen- 
ology" may be formulated in Greek as Xiyciv ra falvopeva, where 
Xiytw means airo<f>aiv€o$ai. Thus "phenomenology" means an ofalveo Bat 
ra <f>atv6pcva — to let that which shows itself be seen from itself in the very way 
in which it shows itself from itself. This is the formal meaning of that branch 
of research which calls itself "phenomenology". But here we are expressing 
nothing else than the maxim formulated above : 'To the things themselves!' 

Thus the term "phenomenology" is quite different in its meaning from 
expressions such as "theology" and the like. Those terms designate the 

1 Heidegger is here pointing out that the word Xfyos is etymologically akin to the 
verb Xeycw, which has among its numerous meanings those of laying out, exhibiting, setting 
forth, recounting, telling a tale, making a statement Thus Xoyos as Xeyetv can be thought of 
as the faculty of 'reason* ('Vernunft') which makes such activities possible. But Xoyos can 
also mean r6 Xeyo^evov (that which is laid out, exhibited, set forth, told) ; in this sense 
it is the underlying subject matter (to vnoKclficvov) to which one addresses oneself and 
which one discusses ('Ansprechen und Besprechen') ; as such it lies 'at the bottom' ('zum 
Grunde') of what is exhibited or told, and is thus the 'ground* or 'reason* ('Grand') for 
telling it. But when something is exhibited or told, it is exhibited in its relatedness ('in 
seiner Bezogenheit') ; and in this way X6yos as Xeyopcvov comes to stand for just such a 
relation or relationship ('Beziehung und Verhaltnis'). The three senses here distinguished 
correspond to three senses of the Latin 'ratio', by which Xoyos was traditionally translated, 
though Heidegger explicitly calls attention to only one of these. Notice that 'Beziehung' 
(which we translate as 'relation') can also be used in some contexts where 'Ansprechen' 
(our ^addressing oneself) would be equally appropriate! Notice further that 'Verhaltnis* 
(our 'relationship'), which is ordinarily a synonym for 'Beziehung', can, like Xoyos and 
'ratio', also refer to the special kind of relationship which one finds in a mathematical 
proportion. The etymological connection between 'Vernehmen' and 'VernunfV should 
also be noted. 

Int. II Being and Time 59 

objects of their respective sciences according to the subject-matter which 
they comprise at the time [in ihrer jeweiligen Sachhaltigkeit], 'Phe- 
nomenology* neither designates the object of its researches, nor charac- 
terizes the subject-matter thus comprised. The word merely informs us of 
the "how" with which what is to be treated in this science gets exhibited 
and handled. To have a science 'of phenomena means to grasp its objects 
in such a way that everything about them which is up for discussion must be 
treated by exhibiting it directly and demonstrating it directly. 1 The 
expression 'descriptive phenomenology', which is at bottom tautological, 
has the same meaning. Here "description" does not signify such a pro- 
cedure as we find, let us say, in botanical morphology; the term has rather 
the sense of a prohibition — the avoidance of characterizing anything 
without such demonstration. The character of this description itself, 
the specific meaning of the Xoyos, can be established first of all in 
terms of the 'thinghood' ["Sachheit"] of what is to be 'described' — that 
is to say, of what is to be given scientific definiteness as we encounter it 
phenomenally. The signification of "phenomenon", as conceived both 
formally and in the ordinary manner, is such that any exhibiting of an 
entity as it shows itself in itself, may be called "phenomenology" with 
formal justification. 

Now what must be taken into account if the formal conception of 
phenomenon is to be deformalized into the phenomenological one, and 
how is this latter to be distinguished from the ordinary conception? What 
is it that phenomenology is to 'let us see' ? What is it that must be called 
a 'phenomenon' in a distinctive sense ? What is it that by its very essence 
is necessarily the theme whenever we exhibit something explicitly? Mani- 
festly, it is something that proximally and for the most part does not show 
itself at all: it is something that lies hidden, in contrast to that which 
proximally and for the most part does show itself; but at the same time it 
is something that belongs to what thus shows itself, and it belongs to it so 
essentially as to constitute its meaning and its ground. 

Yet that which remains hidden in an egregious sense, or which relapses 
and gets covered up again, or which shows itself only Hn disguise\ is not just 
this entity or that, but rather the Being of entities, as our previous observa- 
tions have shown. This Being can be covered up so extensively that it 
becomes forgotten and no question arises about it or about its meaning. 
Thus that which demands that it become a phenomenon, and which 
demands this in a distinctive sense and in terms of its ownmost content as 
a thing, is what phenomenology has taken into its grasp thematically 
as its object. 

1 ... in direkter Aufweisung und direkter Auswcisung . . .' 

60 Being and Time Int. II 

Phenomenology is our way of access to what is to be the theme of 
ontology, and it is our way of giving it demonstrative precision. Only as 
phenomenology, is ontology possible. In the phenomenological conception of 
"phenomenon" what one has in mind as that which shows itself is the 
Being of entities, its meaning, its modifications and derivatives. 1 And this 
showing-itself is not just any showing-itself, nor is it some such thing as 
appearing. Least of all can the Being of entities ever be anything such that 
'behind it* stands something else 'which does not appear'. 

'Behind* the phenomena of phenomenology there is essentially nothing 
else; on the other hand, what is to become a phenomenon can be hidden. 
And just because the phenomena are proximally and for the most part 
not given, there is need for phenomenology. Covered-up-ness is the counter- 
concept to 'phenomenon'. 

There are various ways in which phenomena can be covered up. In the 
first place, a phenomenon can be covered up in the sense that it is still 
quite undiscovered. It is neither known nor unknown. 2 Moreover, a 
phenomenon can be buried over [verschuttet]. This means that it has at some 
time been discovered but has deteriorated [verfiel] to the point of getting 
covered up again. This covering-up can become complete; or rather — and 
as a rule — what has been discovered earlier may still be visible, though 
only as a semblance. Yet so much semblance, so much 'Being'. 3 This cover- 
ing-up as a 'disguising' is both the most frequent and the most dangerous, 
for here the possibilities of deceiving and misleading are especially 
stubborn. Within a 'system', perhaps, those structures of Being — and 
their concepts — which are still available but veiled in their indigenous 
character, may claim their rights. For when they have been bound 
together constructively in a system, they present themselves as something 
'clear', requiring no further justification, and thus can serve as the point 
of departure for a process of deduction. v 

The covering-up itself, whether in the sense of hiddenness, burying- 
over, or disguise, has in turn two possibilities. There are coverings-up 
which are accidental; there are also some which are necessary, grounded 
in what the thing discovered consists in [der Bestandart des Entdeckten]. 
Whenever a phenomenological concept is drawn from primordial sources, 

1 phanomenologische Begriff von Phanomen meint als das Sichzeigende das Sein 
des Seienden, seinen Sinn, seine Modifikationen und Derivate. , 

2 *t)ber seinen Bestand gibt es weder Kenntnis noch Unkenntnisr* The earlier editions 
have 'Erkenntnis' where the latter ones have 'Unkenntnis\ The word 'Bestand* always 
presents difficulties in Heidegger; here it permits either of two interpretations, which we 
have deliberately steered between : 4 Whether there is any such thing, is neither known nor 
unknown*, and * What it comprises is something of which we have neither knowledge 
nor ignorance/ 

3 'Wieviel Schein jedoch, soviel "Sein'V 

Int. II Being and Time 6i 

there is a possibility that it may degenerate if communicated in the form 
of an assertion. It gets understood in an empty way and is thus passed 
on, losing its indigenous character, and becoming a free-floating thesis. 
Even in the concrete work of phenomenology itself there lurks the pos- 
sibility that what has been primordially 'within our grasp' may become 
hardened so that we can no longer grasp it. And the difficulty of this 
kind of research lies in making it self-critical in a positive sense. 

The way in which Being and its structures are encountered in the mode 
of phenomenon is one which must first of all be wrested from the objects 
of phenomenology. Thus the very point of departure [Ausgang] for our 
analysis requires that it be secured by the proper method, just as much as 
does our access [Z u S an S] t0 tne phenomenon, or our passage [Durchgang] 
through whatever is prevalently covering it up. The idea of grasping and 
explicating phenomena in a way which is 'original' and 'intuitive' 
["originaren" und "intuitiven"] is directly opposed to the naiveti of a 
haphazard, 'immediate', and unreflective 'beholding'. ["Schauen"]. 

Now that we have delimited our preliminary conception of pheno- 
menology, the terms 'phenomenal' and phenomenologkaV can also be fixed in 
their signification. That which is given and explicable in the way the 
phenomenon is encountered is called 'phenomenal' ; this is what we have 
in mind when we talk about "phenomenal structures". Everything which 
belongs to the species of exhibiting and explicating and which goes to 
make up the way of conceiving demanded by this research, is called 
'phenomenologicaF . / 

Because phenomena, as understood phenomenologically, are never 
anything but what goes to make up Being, while Being is in every case 
the Being of some entity, we must first bring forward the entities them- 
selves if it is our aim that Beiiig should be laid bare ; and we must do this 
in the right way. These entities must likewise show themselves with the 
kind of access which genuinely belongs to them. And in this way the 
ordinary conception of phenomenon becomes phenomenologically rele- 
vant. If our analysis is to be authentic, its aim is such that the prior task 
of assuring ourselves 'phenomenologically' of that entity which is to serve 
as our example, has already been prescribed as our point of departure. 

With regard to its subject-matter, phenomenology is the science of the 
Being of entities — ontology. In explaining the tasks of ontology we found 
it necessary that there should be a fundamental ontology taking as its 
theme that entity which is ontologico-ontically distinctive, Dasein, in 
order to confront the cardinal problem — the question of the meaning of 
Being in general. Our investigation itself will show that the meaning of 
phenomenological description as a method lies in interpretation. The \6yo$ 

62 Being and Time Int. II 

of the phenomenology of Dasein has the character of a epfMyvevciv, 
through which the authentic meaning of Being, and also those basic 
structures of Being which Dasein itself possesses, are made known to Dasein's 
understanding of Being. The phenomenology of Dasein is a hermeneutic in 
the primordial signification of this word, where it designates this business 
of interpreting. But to the extent that by uncovering the meaning of Being 
and the basic structures of Dasein in general we may exhibit the horizon 
for any further ontological study of those entities which do not have the 
character of Dasein, this hermeneutic also becomes a 'hermeneutic' in the 
sense of working out the conditions on which the possibility of any onto- 
logical investigation depends. And finally, to the extent that Dasein, as 
an entity with the possibility of existence, has ontological priority over 
every other entity, "hermeneutic", as an interpretation of Dasein's Being, 
has the third and specific sense of an analytic of the existentiality of 
existence; and this is the sense which is philosophically primary. Then so 
far as this hermeneutic works out Dasein's historicality ontologically as 
the ontical condition for the possibility of historiology, it contains the 
roots of what can be called 'hermeneutic' only in a derivative sense: the 
methodology of those humane sciences which are historiological in 

Being, as the basic theme of philosophy, is no class or genus of entities; 
yet it pertains to every entity. Its 'universality' is to be sought higher 
up. Being and the structure of Being lie beyond every entity and every 
possible character which an entity may possess. Being is the transcendens 
pure and simple. 1 And the transcendence of Dasein's Being is distinctive in 
that it implies the possibility and the necessity of the most radical individua- 
tion. Every disclosure of Being as the transcendens is transcendental knowledge. 
Phenomenological truth {the disclosedness of Being) is Veritas transcendentalis. 

Ontology and phenomenology are not two distinct philosophical dis- 
ciplines among others. These terms characterize philosophy itself with 
regard to its object and its way of treating that object. Philosophy is 
universal phenomenological ontology, and takes its departure from the 
hermeneutic of Dasein, which, as an analytic of existence, has made fast 
the guiding-line for all philosophical inquiry at the point where it arises 
and to which it returns. 

The following investigation would have have been possible if the ground 
had not been prepared by Edmund Husserl, with whose Logische Unter- 
suchungen phenomenology first emerged. Our comments on the preliminary 
conception of phenomenology have shown that what is essential in it 

1 'Sein und Seinsstruktur Iiegen uber jedes Seiende and jede mogliche seiende Bestim- 
mtheit cines Seienden hinaus. Sein ist das transcendens schlechthin* 

Int. II Being and Time 63 

does not lie in its actuality as a philosophical 'movement' ["Richtung"] . 
Higher than actuality stands possibility. We can understand phenomeno- 
logy only by seizing upon it as a possibility. v 

With regard to the awkwardness and 'inelegance' of expression in the 
analyses to come, we may remark that it is one thing to give a report 
in which we tell about entities, but another to grasp entities in their Being. 
For the latter task we lack not only most of the words but, above all, the 
'grammar'. If we may allude to some earlier researchers on the analysis 
of Being, incomparable on their own level, we may compare the onto- 
logical sections of Plato's Parmenides or the fourth chapter of the seventh 
book of Aristotle's Metaphysics with a narrative section from Thucydides ; 
we can then see the altogether unprecedented character of those formula- 
tions which were imposed upon the Greeks by their philosophers. And 
where our powers are essentially weaker, and where moreover the area 
of Being to be disclosed is ontologically far more difficult than that which 
was presented to the Greeks, the harshness of our expression will be 
enhanced, and so will the minuteness of detail with which our concepts 
are formed. 

f 8. Design of the Treatise 

The question of the meaning of Being is the most universal and the 
emptiest of questions, but at the same time it is possible to individualize 
it very precisely for any particular Dasein. If we are to arrive at the basic 
concept of 'Being 3 and to outline the ontological conceptions which it 
requires and the variations which it necessarily undergoes, we need a clue 
which is concrete. We shall proceed towards the concept of Being by way 
of an Interpretation of a certain special entity, Dasein, in which we 
shall arrive at the horizon for the understanding of Being and for the 
possibility of interpreting it; the universality of the concept of Being is 
not belied by the relatively 'special' character of our investigation. 
But this very entity, Dasein, is in itself 'historical', so that its own- 
most ontological elucidation necessarily becomes an 'historiological' 

Accordingly our treatment of the question of Being branches out into 
two distinct tasks, and our treatise will thus have two parts: 

Part One: the Interpretation of Dasein in terms of temporality, and the 
explication of time as the transcendental horizon for the question of 

Part Two: basic features of a phenomenological destruction of the 
history of ontology, with the problematic of Temporality as our clue. 

64 Being and Time Int. II 

Part One has three divisions 

1. the preparatory fundamental analysis of Dasein; 

2. Dasein and temporality; 

3. time and Being. 1 

Part Two likewise has three divisions: 1 

1 . Kant's doctrine of schematism and time, as a preliminary stage in 
a problematic of Temporality; 

2. the on to logical foundation of Descartes' c cogito sum\ and how the 
medieval ontology has been taken over into the problematic of the 
'res cogitans > ; 

3. Aristotle's essay on time, as providing a way of discriminating 
the phenomenal basis and the limits of ancient ontology. 

* Part Two and the third division of Part One have never appeared. 





I n the question about the meaning of Being, what is primarily interrog- 
ated is those entities which have the character of Dasein. The preparatory 
existential analytic of Dasein must, in accordance with its peculiar charac- 
ter, be expounded in outline, and distinguished from other kinds of 
investigation which seem to run parallel (Chapter 1.) Adhering to the 
procedure which we have fixed upon for starting our investigation, we 
must lay bare a fundamental structure in Dasein: Being-in-the-world 
(Chapter 2). In the interpretation of Dasein, this structure is something 
*a priori' ; it is not pieced together, but is primordially and constantly a 
whole. It affords us, however, various ways of looking at the items which 
are constitutive for it. The whole of this structure always comes first; but 
if we keep this constantly in view, these items, as phenomena, will be 
made to stand out. And thus we shall have as objects for analysis: the 
world in its worldhood (Chapter 3), Being-in-the-world as Being-with and 
Being-one's-Self (Chapter 4), and Being-in as such (Chapter 5). By 
analysis of this fundamental structure, the Being of Dasein can be indic- 
ated provisionally. Its existential meaning is care (Chapter 6). 



If g. The Theme of the Analytic of Dasein 

We are ourselves the entities to be analysed. The Being of any such entity 
is in each case mine. 1 These entities, in their Being, comport themselves 
towards their Being. As entities with such Being, they are delivered over 4 2 
to their own Being. 2 Being is that which is an issue for every such entity. 3 
This way of characterizing Dasein has a double consequence : 

1. The 'essence* ["Wesen"] of this entity lies in its "to be" [Zu-sein], Its 
Being-what-it-is [Was-sein] {essentia) must, so far as we can speak of it at 
all, be conceived in terms of its Being (existentia) . But here our ontological 
task is to show that when we choose to designate the Being of this entity 
as "existence" [Existenz], this term does not and cannot have the onto- 
logical signification of the traditional term "existentia" ; ontologically, 
existentia is tantamount to Being-present-at-hand, a kind of Being which is 
essentially inappropriate to entities of Dasein's character. To avoid 
getting bewildered, we shall always use the Interpretative expression 
"presence-at-hand" for the term "existentia", while the term "existence", as 
a designation of Being, will be allotted solely to Dasein. 

The essence of Dasein lies in its existence. Accordingly those characteristics 
which can be exhibited in this entity are not 'properties' present-at-hand 
of some entity which 'looks' so and so and is itself present-at-hand; 
they are in each case possible ways for it to be, and no more than that. 
All the Being-as-it-is [So-sein] which this entity possesses is primarily 
Being. So when we designate this entity with the term 'Dasein', we are 
expressing not its "what" (as if it were a table, house or tree) but its Being. 

2. That Being which is an issue for this entity in its very Being, is in 
each case mine. Thus Dasein is never to be taken ontologically as an 

1 'Das Seiende, dessen Analyse zur Aufgabe stent, sind wir je selbst. Das Sein dieses 
Seienden ist je meines. 9 The reader must not get the impression that there is anything 
solipsistic about the second of these sentences. The point is merely that the kind of Being 
which belongs to Dasein is of a sort which any of us may call his own. 

2 'Als Seiendes dieses Seins ist es seinem eigenen Sein uberantwortet.' The earlier 
editions read . . seinem eigenen Zu-sein . . 

8 See note 2, p. 28, H. 8 above. 

68 Being and Time I. i 

instance or special case of some genus of entities as things that are 
present-at-hand. 1 To entities such as these, their Being is 'a matter of 
indifference' ; 2 or more precisely, they 'are' such that their Being can be 
neither a matter of indifference to them, nor the opposite. Because 
Dasein has in each case mineness [Jemeinigkeit], one must always use a 
personal pronoun when one addresses it : 'I am', 'you are'. 

Furthermore, in each case Dasein is mine to be in one way or another. 
Dasein has always made some sort of decision as to the way in which it is 
in each case mine [je meines]. That entity which in its Being has this very 
Being as an issue, comports itself towards its Being as its ownmost pos- 
sibility. In each case Dasein is its possibility, and it fi has' this possibility, 
but not just as a property [eigenschaftlich], as something present-at-hand 
would. And because Dasein is in each case essentially its own possibility, 
it can, in its very Being, 'choose' itself and win itself; it can also lose itself 
and never win itself; or only 'seem' to do so. But only in so far as it is 
essentially something which can be authentic — that is, something of its own 3 
— can it have lost itself and not yet won itself. As modesof Being, authenticity 
and inauthenticity (these expressions have been chosen terminologically in a 
strict sense) are both grounded in the fact that any Dasein whatsoever is 
characterized by mineness . 4 But the inauthenticity of Dasein does not signify 
any 'less' Being or any 'lower' degree of Being. Rather it is the case that 
even in its fullest concretion Dasein can be characterized by inauthenticity 
— when busy, when excited, when interested, when ready for enjoyment. 

The two characteristics of Dasein which we have sketched — the 
priority of 'existential over essentia, and the fact that Dasein is in each case 
mine [die Jemeinigkeit] — have already indicated that in the analytic of 
this entity we are facing a peculiar phenomenal domain. Dasein does not 
have the kind of Being which belongs to something merely present-at- 
hand within the world, nor does it ever have it. So neither is it to be 
presented thematically as something we come across in the same way as 

1 \ . . als Vorhandenem'. The earlier editions have the adjective 'vorhandenem' 
instead of the substantive. 

2 'gleichgultig'. This adjective must be distinguished from the German adjective 
'indifferent', though they might both ordinarily be translated by the English 'indifferent', 
which we shall reserve exclusively for the former. In most passages, the latter is best 
translated by 'undifferentiated' or 'without further differentiation'; occasionally, how- 
ever, it seems preferable to translate it by 'Indifferent' with an initial capital. We shall 
follow similar conventions with the nouns 'Gleichgiiltigkeit' and 'Indifferenz'. 

3 'Und weil Dasein wesenhaft je seine Moglichkeit ist, kann dieses Seiende in seinem 
Sein sich selbst "wahlen", gewinnen, es kann sich verlieren, bzw. nie und nur "scheinbar" 
gewinnen. Verloren habenkann es sich nur und noch nicht sich gewonnen haben kann es 
nur, sofern es seinem Wesen nach mdgliches eigentliches^ das heisst sich zueigen ist.* 
Older editions have 'je wesenhaft' and 'zueigenes'. The connection between 'eigentlich' 
('authentic', 'real') and 'eigen' ('own') is lost in translation. 

* '. . . dass Dasein uberhaupt durch Jemeinigkeit bestimmt ist.' 

I. I Being and Time 69 

we come across what is present-at-hand. The right way of presenting it is 
so far from self-evident that to determine what form it shall take is itself 
an essential part of the ontological analytic of this entity. Only by pre- 
senting this entity in the right way can we have any understanding of its 
Being. No matter how provisional our analysis may be, it always requires 
the assurance that we have started correctly. 

In determining itself as an entity, Dasein always does so in the light of 
a possibility which it is itself and which, in its very Being, it somehow 
understands. This is the formal meaning of Dasein's existential constitu- 
tion. But this tells us that if we are to Interpret this entity ontologically, the 
problematic of its Being must be developed from the existentiality of its 
existence. This cannot mean, however, that "Dasein" is to be construed 
in terms of some concrete possible idea of existence. At the outset of our 
analysis it is particularly important that Dasein should not be Interpreted 
with the differentiated character [Differenz] of some definite way of 
existing, but that it should be uncovered [aufgedeckt] in the undiffer- 
entiated character which it has proximally and for the most part. This 
undifferentiated character of Dasein's everydayness is not nothing, but a 
positive phenomenal characteristic of this entity. Out of this kind of Being 
— and back into it again — is all existing, such as it is. 1 We call this every- 
day undifferentiated character of Dasein " averageness" [Durchschnittlichkeit]. 

And because this average everydayness makes up what is ontically 
proximal for this entity, it has again and again been passed over in expli- 
cating Dasein. That which is ontically closest and well known, is onto- 
logically the farthest and not known at all; and its ontological signification 
is constantly overlooked. When Augustine asks: "Quid autem propinquius 
meipso mihi?" and must answer: "ego certe labor 0 hie et labor 0 in meipso: 
foetus sum mihi terra difficultatis et sudoris nimii", 1 this applies not only to the 
ontical and pre-ontological opaqueness of Dasein but even more to the 
ontological task which lies ahead; for not only must this entity not be 
missed in that kind of Being in which it is phenomenally closest, but it 
must be made accessible by a positive characterization. 

Dasein's average everydayness, however, is not to be taken as a mere 
'aspect'. Here too, and even in the mode of inauthenticity, the structure 
of existentiality lies a priori. And here too Dasein's Being is an issue for it 
in a definite way; and Dasein comports itself towards it in the mode of 
average everydayness, even if this is only the mode of fleeing in the face 
of it and forge tfulness thereof 2 

1 'Aus dieser Seinsart heraus und in sie zuriick ist alles Existieren, wie est ist.' 

2 'Auch in ihr geht es dem Dasein in bestimmter Weise um sein Sein, zu dem es sich 
im Modus der durchschnittlichen Alltaglichkeit verhalt und sei es auch nur im Modus 
der Flucht davor und des Vergessens seiner. 3 For further discussion, see Section 40 below. 

•jo Being and Time I. I 

But the explication of Dasein in its average everydayness does not give 
us just average structures in the sense of a hazy indefiniteness. Anything 
which, taken ontically, is in an average way, can be very well grasped 
ontologically in pregnant structures which may be structurally indistin- 
guishable from certain ontological characteristics [Bestimmungen] of an 
authentic Being of Dasein. 

All explicata to which the analytic of Dasein gives rise are obtained by 
considering Dasein's existence-structure. Because Dasein's characters of 
Being are defined in terms of existentiality, we call them " existentialia". 
These are to be sharply distinguished from what we call "categories" — 
characteristics of Being for entities whose character is not that of Dasein. 1 
Here we are taking the expression "category" in its primary ontological 
signification, and abiding by it. In the ontology of the ancients, the entities 
we encounter within the world 2 are taken as the basic examples for the 
interpretation of Being. iVbetv (or the Xoyos, as the case may be) is 
accepted as a way of access to them. 3 Entities are encountered therein. 
But the Being of these entities must be something which can be grasped 
in a distinctive kind of Aeyew (letting something be seen), so that this 
Being becomes intelligible in advance as that which it is — and as that 
which it is already in every entity. In any discussion (Xoyos) of entities, 
we have previously addressed ourselves to Being; this addressing is 
KaTTjyopcZvdcu. 4 ' This signifies, in the first instance, making a public 
accusation, taking someone to task for something in the presence of every- 
one. When used ontologically, this term means taking an entity to task, 
as it were, for whatever it is as an entity — that is to say, letting everyone 
see it in its Being. The KarrfyopUxi are what is sighted and what is visible 
in such a seeing. 6 They include the various ways in which the nature of 
those entities which can be addressed and discussed in a Xoyos may be 

1 'Weil sie sich aus der Existenzialitat bestimmen, nennen wir die Seinscharaktere des 
Daseins Existenzialien. Sie sind scharf zu trennen von den Seinsbestimmungen des nicht 
daseinsmassigen Seienden, die wir Kategorien nennen.' 

2 . . das innerhalb der Welt begegnende Seiende.' More literally: 'the entity that 
encounters within the world/ While Heidegger normally uses the verb 'begegnen' in this 
active intransitive sense, a similar construction with the English 'encounter' is unidio- 
matic and harsh. We shall as a rule use either a passive construction (as in 'entities en- 
countered') or an active transitive construction (as in 'entities we encounter') . 

3 'Als Zugangsart zu ihm gilt das voelv bzw. der Xoyos.* Here we follow the reading 
of the earlier editions. In the later editions, 'Zugangsart', which is used rather often, is 
here replaced by 'Zugangsort', which occurs very seldom and is perhaps a misprint. This 
later version might be translated as follows: Voelv (or the Xoyos, as the case may be) 
is accepted as the locus of access to such entities.' On votlv and Xoyos see Section 7 
above, especially H. 32-34. 

4 'Das je schon vorgangige Ansprechen des Seins im Besprechen (Xoyos) des Seienden 
ist das KarrjyopeioQcu.* 

6 'Das in solchem Sehen Gesichtete und Sichtbare . . .' On 'Sehen' and 'Sicht' see H. 

I. 1 Being and Time yi 

determined a priori. Existentialia and categories are the two basic pos- 
sibilities for characters of Being. The entities which correspond to them 
require different kinds of primary interrogation respectively : any entity 
is either a "who" (existence) or a "what" (presence-at-hand in the broadest 
sense). The connection between these two modes of the characters of 
Being cannot be handled until the horizon for the question of Being has 
been clarified. 

In our introduction we have already intimated that in the existential 
analytic of Dasein we also make headway with a task which is hardly 
less pressing than that of the question of Being itself — the task of laying 
bare that a priori basis which must be visible before the question of 'what 
man is* can be discussed philosophically. The existential analytic of Dasein 
comes before any psychology or anthropology, and certainly before any 
biology. While these too are ways in which Dasein can be investigated, we 
can define the theme of our analytic with greater precision if we dis- 
tinguish it from these. And at the same time the necessity of that analytic 
can thus be proved more incisively. 

\ 10. How the Analytic of Dasein is to be Distinguished from Anthropology, 
Psychology, and Biology 

After a theme for investigation has been initially outlined in positive 
terms, it is always important to show what is to be ruled out, although it 
can easily become fruitless to discuss what is not going to happen. We must 
show that those investigations and formulations of the question which have 
been aimed at Dasein heretofore, have missed the real philosophical pro- 
blem (notwithstanding their objective fertility), and that as long as they 
persist in missing it, they have no right to claim that they can accomplish 
that for which they are basically striving. In distinguishing the existential 
analytic from anthropology, psychology, and biology, we shall confine 
ourselves to what is in principle the ontological question. Our distinctions 
will necessarily be inadequate from the standpoint of 'scientific theory' 
simply because the scientific structure of the above-mentioned disciplines 
(not, indeed, the 'scientific attitude' of those who work to advance them) 
is today thoroughly questionable and needs to be attacked in new ways 
which must have their source in ontological problematics. 

Historiologically, the aim of the existential analytic can be made 
plainer by considering Descartes, who is credited with providing the point 
of departure for modern philosophical inquiry by his discovery of the 
"cogito sum". He investigates the "cogitate" of the "ego", at least within 
certain limits. On the other hand, he leaves the "sum" completely undis- 
cussed, even though it is regarded as no less primordial than the cogito. Our 

72 . Being and Time I. i 

analytic raises the ontological question of the Being of the "sum". Not until 
the nature of this Being has been determined can we grasp the kind of 
Being which belongs to cogitationes. 

At the same time it is of course misleading to exemplify the aim of our 
analytic historiologically in this way. One of our first tasks will be to 
prove that if we posit an "I" or subject as that which is proximally given, 
we shall completely miss the phenomenal content [Bestand] of Dasein. 
Ontologically, every idea of a 'subject' — unless refined by a previous onto- 
logical determination of its basic character — still posits the subjectum 
(vnoKttucvov) along with it, no matter how vigorous one's ontical 
protestations against the 'soul substance' or the 'reification of conscious- 
ness'. The Thinghood itself which such reification implies must have its 
ontological origin demonstrated if we are to be in a position to ask what 
we are to understand positively when we think of the unreified Being of 
the subject, the soul, the consciousness, the spirit, the person. All these 
terms refer to definite phenomenal domains which can be 'given form' 
["ausformbare"] : but they are never used without a notable failure to 
see the need for inquiring about the Being of the entities thus designated. 
So we are not being terminologically arbitrary when we avoid these 
terms — or such expressions as 'life' and 'man' — in designating those 
entities which we are ourselves. 

On the other hand, if we understand it righdy, in any serious and 
scientifically-minded 'philosophy of life' (this expression says about as 
much as "the botany of plants") there lies an unexpressed tendency 
towards an understanding of Dasein's Being. What is conspicuous in such 
a philosophy (and here it is defective in principle) is that here 'life' itself 
as a kind of Being does not become ontologically a problem. 

The researches of Wilhelm Dilthey were stimulated by the perennial 
question of 'life'. Starting from 'life' itself as a whole, he tried to under- 
stand its 'Experiences' 1 in their structural and developmental inter-connec- 
tions. His 'geisteswissenschqftliche Psychologic* is one which no longer seeks 
to be oriented towards psychical elements and atoms or to piece the life 
of the soul together, but aims rather at 'Gestalteri* and 'life as a whole'. 
Its philosophical relevance, however, is not to be sought here, but rather 
in the fact that in all this he was, above all y on his way towards the question 
of 'life'. To be sure, we can also see here very plainly how limited were 
both his problematic and the set of concepts with which it had to be put 

1 'Die "Erlebnisse" dieses "Lebens" . . .* The connection between 'Leben* ('life') 
and 'Erlebnisse' ('Experiences') is lost in translation. An 'Erlebnis* is not just any 
'experience* ('Erfahrung'), but one which we feel deeply and 'live through'. We shall 
translate 'Erlebnis' and 'erleben* by 'Experience' with a capital 'E', reserving 'experience' 
for 'Erfahrung' and 'erfahren*. 

I. i Being and Time 73 

into words. These limitations, however, are found not only in Dilthey and 
Bergson but in all the 'personalitic' movements to which they have given 
direction and in every tendency towards a philosophical anthropology. 
The phenomenological Interpretation of personality is in principle more 
radical and more transparent; but the question of the Being of Dasein 
has a dimension which this too fails to enter. No matter how much 
Husserl 11 and Scheler may differ in their respective inquiries, in their 
methods of conducting them, and in their orientations towards the world 
as a whole, they are fully in agreement on the negative side of their 
Interpretations of personality. The question of 'personal Being 9 itself is 
one which they no longer raise. We have chosen Scheler's Interpretation 
as an example, not only because it is accessible in print, 111 but because he 
emphasizes personal Being explicitly as such, and tries to determine its 
character by defining the specific Being of acts as contrasted with any- 
thing 'psychical'. For Scheler, the person is never to be thought of as a 
Thing or a substance; the person 'is rather the unity of living-through 
[Er-lebens] which is immediately experienced in and with our Exper- 
iences — not a Thing merely thought of behind and outside what is immed- 
iately Experienced'.^ The person is no Thinglike and substantial Being. 
Nor can the Being of a person be entirely absorbed in being a subject of 
rational acts which follow certain laws. 

The person is not a Thing, not a substance, not an object. Here Scheler 
is emphasizing what Husserl v suggests when he insists that the unity of 
the person must have a Constitution essentially different from that 
required for the unity of Things of Nature. 1 What Scheler says of the 
person, he applies to acts as well: 'But an act is never also an object; for 
it is essential to the Being of acts that they are Experienced only in their 
performance itself and given in reflection. ' vl Acts are something non- 
psychical. Essentially the person exists only in the performance of inten- 
tional acts, and is therefore essentially not an object. Any psychical 
Objectification of acts, and hence any way of taking them as something 
psychical, is tantamount to depersonalization. A person is in any case 
given as a performer of intentional acts which are bound together by the 
unity of a meaning. Thus psychical Being has nothing to do with personal 
Being. Acts get performed; the person is a performer of acts. What, how- 
ever, is the ontological meaning of 'performance' ? How is the kind of 
Being which belongs to a person to be ascertained ontologically in a 
positive way? But the critical question cannot stop here. It must face the 
Being of the whole man, who is customarily taken as a unity of body, 

1 *. . . wenn er fur die Einheit der Person eine wesentlich andere Konstitution fordert 
als fur die der Naturdinge.* The second *der' appears in the later editions only. 

74 Being and Time I. i 

soul, and spirit. In their turn "body", "soul", and "spirit" may designate 
phenomenal domains which can be detached as themes for definite 
investigations; within certain limits their ontological indefiniteness may 
not be important. When, however, we come to the question of man's 
Being, this is not something we can simply compute 1 by adding together 
those kinds of Being which body, soul, and spirit respectively possess — 
kinds of Being whose nature has not as yet been determined. And even 
if we should attempt such an ontological procedure, some idea of the 
Being of the whole must be presupposed. But what stands in the way of the 
basic question of Dasein's Being (or leads it off the track) is an orientation 
thoroughly coloured by the anthropology of Christianity and the ancient 
world, whose inadequate ontological foundations have been overlooked 
both by the philosophy of life and by personalism. There are two important 
elements in this traditional anthropology: 

1. 'Man' is here defined as a £wov Xoyov %x ov > and this is Interpreted 
to mean an animal rationale, something living which has reason. But the 
kind of Being which belongs to a £wov is understood in the sense of 
occurring and Being-present-at-hand. The \6yos is some superior endow- 
ment; the kind of Being which belongs to it, however, remains quite as 
obscure as that of the entire entity thus compounded. 

2. The second clue for determining the nature of man's Being and 
essence is a theological one /cat et-irev 6 Qeos. 7roi f qaa>fjL€v avdpwnov /car' 
elKova rjfierepav kolI tcad* ofioioiaiv — "faciamus kominem ad imaginem 
nostram et similitudinem" vii With this as its point of departure, 
the anthropology of Christian theology, taking with it the ancient 
definition, arrives at an interpretation of that entity which we call 
"man". But just as the Being of God gets Interpreted ontologically 
by means of the ancient ontology, so does the Being of the ens finitum, and 
to an even greater extent. In modern times the Christian definition has 
been deprived of its theological character. But the idea of 'transcendence' 
— that man is something that reaches beyond himself— is rooted in Chris- 
tian dogmatics, which can hardly be said to have made an ontological 
problem of man's Being. The idea of transcendence, according to which 
man is more than a mere something endowed with intelligence, has 
worked itself out with different variations. The following quotations will 
illustrate how these have originated: * His praeclaris dotibus excelluit prima 
hominis conditio, ut ratio, intelligentia, prudentia, judicium non modo ad terrenae 
vitae gubernationem suppeterent, sed quibus transcenderet usque ad Deum 
et aeternamfelicitatem.'viii 'Denn doss der mensch sin uf s eh en hat u/Gott und 

1 Reading 'errechnet*. The earliest editions have 'verrechnet', with the correct reading 
provided in a list of errata. 

I. i Being and Time 75 

sin wort, zeigt er klarlich an, doss er nach siner natur etwas Gott ndher anerborn, 
etwas mee nachschldgt } etwas zuzugs zu im hat, das alles on zwyfel 
darus Jlusst, dass er nach dem b i Idnus Gottes geschaffen ist\ ix 

The two sources which are relevant for the traditional anthropology — 
the Greek definition and the clue which theology has provided — indicate 
that over and above the attempt to determine the essence of 'man' as an 
entity, the question of his Being has remained forgotten, and that this 
Being is rather conceived as something obvious or 'self-evident' in the 
sense of the Being-present-at-hand of other created Things. These two clues 
become intertwined in the anthropology of modern times, where the res 
cogitans, consciousness, and the interconnectedness of Experience serve as 
the point of departure for methodical study. But since even the cogitationes 
are either left ontologically undetermined, or get tacitly assumed as 
something 'self-evidently' 'given' whose 'Being' is not to be questioned, 
the decisive ontological foundations of anthropological problematics 
remain undetermined. 

This is no less true of 'psychology*, whose anthropological tendencies are 
today unmistakable. Nor can we compensate for the absence of onto- 
logical foundations by taking anthropology and psychology and building 
them into the framework of a general biology. In the order which any 
possible comprehension and interpretation must follow, biology as a 
'science of life' is founded upon the ontology of Dasein, even if not entirely. 
Life, in its own right, is a kind of Being; but essentially it is accessible only 
in Dasein. The ontology of life is accomplished by way of a privative 
Interpretation; it determines what must be the case if there can be any- 
thing like mere-aliveness [Nur-noch-leben]. Life is not a mere Being- 
present-at-hand, nor is it Dasein. In turn, Dasein is never to be defined 
ontologically by regarding it as life (in an ontologically indefinite manner) 
plus something else. 

In suggesting that anthropology, psychology, and biology air fail to 
give an unequivocal and ontologically adequate answer to the question 
about the kind of Being which belongs to those entities which we ourselves 
are, we are not passing judgment on the positive work of these disciplines. 
We must always bear in mind, however, that these ontological foundations 
can never be disclosed by subsequent hypotheses derived from empirical 
material, but that they are always 'there' already, even when that 
empirical material simply gets collected. If positive research fails to see 
these foundations and holds them to be self-evident, this by no means 
proves that they are not basic or that they are not problematic in a more 
radical sense than any thesis of positive science can ever be. x 

76 Being and Time I. 1 

K 11. The Existential Analytic and the Interpretation of Primitive Dasein. The 
Difficulties of Achieving a 'Natural Conception of the World' 

The Interpretation of Dasein in its everydayness, however, is not 
identical with the describing of some primitive stage of Dasein with 
which we can become acquainted empirically through the medium of 
anthropology. Everydayness does not coincide with primitiveness, but is rather a 
mode of Dasein's Being, even when that Dasein is active in a highly 

51 developed and differentiated culture — and precisely then. Moreover, 
even primitive Dasein has possibilities of a Being which is not of the 
everyday kind, and it has a specific everydayness of its own. To orient the 
analysis of Dasein towards the e life of primitive peoples' can have positive 
significance [Bedeutung] as a method because 'primitive phenomena' 
are often less concealed and less complicated by extensive self-interpreta- 
tion on the part of the Dasein in question. Primitive Dasein often speaks 
to us more directly in terms of a primordial absorption in 'phenomena' 
(taken in a pre-phenomenological sense). A way of conceiving things 
which seems, perhaps, rather clumsy and crude from our standpoint, can 
be positively helpful in bringing out the ontological structures of phe- 
nomena in a genuine way. 

But heretofore our information about primitives has been provided by 
ethnology. And ethnology operates with definite preliminary conceptions 
and interpretations of human Dasein in general, even in first 'receiving' 
its material, and in sifting it and working it up. Whether the everyday 
psychology or even the scientific psychology and sociology which the 
ethnologist brings with him can provide any scientific assurance that we 
can have proper access to the phenomena we are studying, and can inter- 
pret them and transmit them in the right way, has not yet been established. 
Here too we are confronted with the same state of affairs as in the other 
disciplines we have discussed. Ethnology itself already presupposes as its 
clue an inadequate analytic of Dasein. But since the positive sciences neither 
'can' nor should wait for the ontological labours of philosophy to be done, 
the further course of research will not take the form of an 'advance' but 
will be accomplished by recapitulating what has already been ontically dis- 
covered, and by purifying it in a way which is ontologically more trans- 
parent.* 1 

52 No matter how easy it may be to show how ontological problematics 
differ formally from ontical research there are still difficulties in carrying 
out an existential analytic, especially in making a start. This task includes 
a desideratum which philosophy has long found disturbing but has con- 
tinually refused to achieve : to work out the idea of a 'natural conception of the 
world 9 . The rich store of information now available as to the most exotic 

I. 1 Being and Time 77 

and manifold cultures and forms of Dasein seems favourable to our setting 
about this task in a fruitful way. But this is merely a semblance. At 
bottom this plethora of information can seduce us into failing to recognize 
the real problem. We shall not get a genuine knowledge of essences simply 
by the syncretistic activity of universal comparison and classification. 
Subjecting the manifold to tabulation does not ensure any actual under- 
standing of what lies there before us as thus set in order. If an ordering 
principle is genuine, it has its own content as a thing [Sachgehalt], which 
is never to be found by means of such ordering, but is already presupposed 
in it. So if one is to put various pictures of the world in order, one must 
have an explicit idea of the world as such. And if the 'world' itself is 
something constitutive for Dasein, one must have an insight into Dasein's 
basic structures in order to treat the world-phenomenon conceptually. 

In this chapter we have characterized some things positively and taken 
a negative stand with regard to others; in both cases our goal has been to 
promote a correct understanding of the tendency which underlies the 
following Interpretation and the kind of questions which it poses. 
Ontology can contribute only indirectly towards advancing the positive 
disciplines as we find them today. It has a goal of its own, even if, beyond 
the acquiring of information about entities, the question of Being is the 
spur for all scientific seeking. 



If 12. A Preliminary Sketch of Being-in-the-World, in terms of an Orientation 
towards Being-in as such 

In our preparatory discussions (Section 9) we have brought out some 
characteristics of Being which will provide us with a steady light for our 
further investigation, but which will at the same time become structurally 
concrete as that investigation continues. Dasein is an entity which, in its 
very Being, comports itself understanding^ towards that Being. In saying 
this, we are calling attention to the formal concept of existence. Dasein exists. 
Furthermore, Dasein is an entity which in each case I myself am. Mineness 
belongs to any existent Dasein, and belongs to it as the condition which 
makes authenticity and inauthenticity possible. In each case Dasein exists in 
one or the other of these two modes, or else it is modally undifferentiated. 1 

But these are both ways in which Dasein's Being takes on a definite 
character, and they must be seen and understood a priori as grounded 
upon that state of Being which we have called "Being-in-the-world\ An 
interpretation of this constitutive state is needed if we are to set up our 
analytic of Dasein correctly. 

Thecompound expression 'Being-in-the-world' indicates in the very way 
we have coined it, that it stands for a unitary phenomenon. This primary 
datum must be seen as a whole. But while Being-in-the-world cannot be 
broken up into contents which may be pieced together, this does not prevent 
it from having several constitutive items in its structure. Indeed the pheno- 
menal datum which our expression indicates is one which may, in feet, be 
looked at in three ways. If we study it, keeping the whole phenomenon firmly 
in mind beforehand, the following items may be brought out for emphasis: 

First, the Hn-the-world\ With regard to this there arises the task of 
inquiring into the ontological structure of the 'world* and defining the 
idea of worldhood as such. (See the third chapter of this Division.) 

1 *Zum existierenden Dasein gehort die Jemeinigkeit als Bedingung der Moglichkeit 
von Eigentlichkeit und Uneigentlichkeit. Dasein existiert je in einem dieser Modi, bzw. 
in der modalen Indifferenz ihrer.' 

I. 2 Being and Time yg 

Second, that entity which in every case has Being-in-the-world as the 
way in which it is. Here we are seeking that which one inquires into when 
one asks the question 'Who?' By a phenomenological demonstration 1 we 
shall determine who is in the mode of Dasein's average everydayness. 
(See the fourth chapter of this Division.) 

Third, Being-in [In-sein] as such. We must set forth the ontological 
Constitution of inhood [Inneit] itself. (See the fifth chapter of this 
Division.) Emphasis upon any one of these constitutive items signifies 
that the others are emphasized along with it; this means that in any such 
case the whole phenomenon gets seen. Of course Being-in-the-world is a 
state of Dasein 2 which is necessary a priori, but it is far from sufficient for 
completely determining Dasein's Being. Before making these three 
phenomena the themes for special analyses, we shall attempt by way of 
orientation to characterize the third of these factors. 

What is meant by "Being-in"? Our proximal reaction is to round out 
this expression to £S Being-in 'in the world' ", and we are inclined to 
understand this Being-in as 'Being in something' ["Sein in . . ."]. This 
latter term designates the kind of Being which an entity has when it is 
'in' another one, as the water is 'in' the glass, or the garment is 'in' the 
cupboard. By this 'in' we mean the relationship of Being which two 
entities extended 'in' space have to each other with regard to their location 
in that space. Both water and glass, garment and cupboard, are 'in' space 
and 'at' a location, and both in the same way. This relationship of Being 
can be expanded: for instance, the bench is in the lecture-room, the 
lecture-room is in the university, the university is in the city, and so on, 
until we can say that the bench is 'in world-space'. All entities whose 
Being 'in' one another can thus be described have the same kind of Being 
— that of Being-present-at-hand — as Things occurring 'within' the world. 
Being-present-at-hand 'in' something which is likewise present-at-hand, 
and Being-present-at-hand-along-with [Mitvorhandensein] in the sense 
of a definite location-relationship with something else which has the same 
kind of Being, are ontological characteristics which we call "categoriaV ': 
they are of such a sort as to belong to entities whose kind of Being is not 
of the character of Dasein. 

Being-in, on the other hand, is a state of Dasein's Being; it is an 
existentiale. So one cannot think of it as the Being-present- 
at-hand of some corporeal Thing (such as a human body) 'in' an 
entity which is present-at-hand. Nor does the term "Being-in" mean 

1 Here we follow the older editions in reading, 'Ausweisung*. The newer editions have 
'Aufweisung' ( 'exhibition'). 

2 . . Verfassung des Daseins . . .' The earliest editions read 'Wesens* instead 
'Daseins'. Correction is made in a list of errata. 

80 Being and Time I. 2 

a spatial 'in-one-another-ness' of things present-at-hand, any more than 
the word 'in' primordially signifies a spatial relationship of this kind. 1 'In' 
is derived from "innan" — "to reside", 1 "habitare", "to dwell" [sich auf hal- 
ten]. 'An 9 signifies "I am accustomed", "I am familiar with", "I look 
after something". 2 It has the signification of "colo" in the senses of "habito 99 
and "diligo 99 . The entity to which Being-in in this signification belongs is 
one which we have characterized as that entity which in each case I 
myself am [bin]. The expression 'bin 9 is connected with 'bei 9 , and so 'ich 
bin 9 ['I am'] means in its turn "I reside" or "dwell alongside" the 
world, as that which is familiar to me in such and such a way. 3 
"Being" [Sein], as the infinitive of 6 ich bin 9 (that is to say, when it is 
understood as an existentiale) , signifies "to reside alongside . . .", "to be 
familiar with . . "Being-in 99 is thus the formal existential expression for the 
Being of Dasein, which has Being-in-the-world as its essential state. 

'Being alongside* the world in the sense of being absorbed in the world 4 

1 Reading 'innan — wohnen'. As Heidegger points out in his footnote, this puzzling 
passage has its source in Grimm's Kleinere SchrifUn, Vol. VII, pp. 247 ff., where we find 
two short articles, the first entitled 'IN' and the second 'IN UND BEI\ The first 
article begins by comparing a number of archaic German words meaning 'domus 9 , all 
haying a form similar to our English 'inn', which Grimm mentions. He goes on to 
postulate 'a strong verb "innan 99 , which must have meant either "habitare", "domi esse", 
or "recipere in domum" 9 (though only a weak derivative form l innian 9 is actually found), 
with a surviving strong preterite written either as W or as 'am?. Grimm goes on 
to argue that the preposition 'w' is derived from the verb, rather than the verb from the 

2 '. . . "an" bedeutet: ich bin gewohnt, vertraut mit, ich pflege etwas . . 

In Grimm's second article he adds: 'there was also an anomalous "ann" with the plural 
"annum", which expressed "amo", "diligo 99 , "faveo 99 , and to which our "gonnen 99 and 
"Gtmst" are immediately related, as has long been recognized. "Ann" really means "ich 
bin eingewohnt", "pflege zu bauen"; this conceptual transition may be shown with 
minimal complication in the Latin "colo 99 , which stands for "habito 99 as well as "diligo 99 . 9 

It is not entirely clear whether Heidegger's discussion of 'an' is aimed to elucidate the 
preposition 'an' (which corresponds in some of its usages to the English 'at*, and which he 
has just used in remarking that the water and the glass are both at a location), or rather 
to explain the preterite 'an* of 'innan'. 

The reader should note that while the verb 'wohnen' normally means 'to reside' or 'to 
dwell', the expression 'ich bin gewohnt' means 'I am accustomed to', and 'ich bin einge- 
wohnt' means 'I have become accustomed to the place where I reside — to my surround- 
ings'. Similarly 'ich pflege etwas' may mean either 'I am accustomed to do something' 
or *I take care of something' or 'I devote myself to it'. (Grimm's 'pflege zu bauen' pre- 
sumably means 'I am accustomed to putting my trust in something', 'I can build on it'.) 
The Latin, 'colo* has the parallel meanings of 'I take care of something* or 'cherish' it 
{'diligo 9 ) and 'I dwell* or 'I inhabit' {[habito 9 ). 

8 '. . . ich wohne, halte mich auf bei . . . der Welt, als dem so und so Vertrauten.* The 
preposition 'bei 9 , like 'an', does not have quite the semantical range of any English pre- 
position. Our 'alongside', with which we shall translate it when other devices seem less 
satisfactory, especially in the phrase 'Being alongside' ('Sein bei'), is often quite mis- 
leading; the sense here is closer to that of 'at' in such expressions as 'at home* or 'at my 
father's*, or that of the French 'chez 9 . Here again Heidegger seems to be relying upon 
Grimm, who proceeds (loc. ext.) to connect 'bei' with 'bauen* ('build') and 'bin 9 . 

4 *. . . in dem . . . Sinne des Aufgehens in der Welt . . .' 'Aufgehen* means literally 'to go 
up*, or 'to rise' in the sense that the sun 'rises' or the dough 'rises'. But when followed by 
the preposition *xn', it takes on other meanings. Thus 5 'geht auf 9 into 30 in the sense that 

I. 2 Being and Time 81 

(a sense which calls for still closer interpretation) is an existentiale founded 
upon Being-in. In these analyses the issue is one of seeing a primordial 
structure of Dasein's Being — a structure in accordance with whose phe- 
nomenal content the concepts of Being must be Articulated ; because of 
this, and because this structure is in principle one which cannot be 
grasped by the traditional ontological categories, this 'being-alongside' 
must be examined still more closely. We shall again choose the method of 
contrasting it with a relationship of Being which is essentially different 
ontologically — viz* categorial — but which we express by the same linguis- 
tic means. Fundamental ontological distinctions are easily obliterated; 
and if they are to be envisaged phenomenally in this way, this must be 
done explicitly, even at the risk of discussing the 'obvious*. The status of 
the ontological analytic shows, however, that we have been far from 
interpreting these obvious matters with an adequate 'grasp', still less with 
regard for the meaning of their Being; and we are even farther from 
possessing a stable coinage for the appropriate structural concepts. 

As an existentiale, 'Being alongside' the world never means anything 
like the Being-present-at- hand- together of Things that occur. There is no 
such thing as the 'side-by-side-ness' of an entity called 'Dasein' with 
another entity called 'world'. Of course when two things are present-at- 
hand together alongside one another, 1 we are accustomed to express this 
occasionally by something like 'The table stands "by" ['bei'] the door' 
or 'The chair "touches" ['beruhrt'] the wall'. Taken strictly, 'touching' is 
never what we are talking about in such cases, not because accurate re- 
examination will always eventually establish that there is a space between 
the chair and the wall, but because in principle the chair can never touch 
the wall, even if the space between them should be equal to zero. If the 
chair could touch the wall, this would presuppose that the wall is the sort 
of thing 'for' which a chair would be encounter able. 2 An entity present-at- 
hand within the world can be touched by another entity only if by its 
very nature the latter entity has Being-in as its own kind of Being — only if, 
with its Being-there [Da-sein], something like the world is already re-, 
vealed to it, so that from out of that world another entity can manifest 
itself in touching, and thus become accessible in its Being-present-at- 
hand. When two entities are present-at-hand within the world, and fur- 
thermore are worldless in themselves, they can never 'touch' each other, 

it 'goes into' 30 without remainder; a country 'geht auf 1 into another country into which 
it is taken over or absorbed; a person 'geht auf in anything to which he devotes 
himself fully, whether an activity or another person. We shall usually translate 'aufgehen 9 
by some form of 'absorb'. 

1 'Das Beisammen zweier Vorhandener . . 

2 'Voraussetzung dafur ware, dass die Wand "fur" den Stuhl begegnen konnte.' (Gf. 
also H. 97 below.) 

82 Being and Time I. 2 

nor can either of them 'be' 'alongside' the other. The clause 'furthermore 
are worldless' must not be left out; for even entities which are not world- 
less— Dasein itself, for example — are present-at-hand 'in' the world, or, 
more exactly, can with some right and within certain limits be taken as 
merely present-at-hand. To do this, one must completely disregard or just 
not see the existential state of Being-in. But the fact that 'Dasein 5 can be 
taken as something which is present-at-hand and just present-at-hand, is 
not to be confused with a certain way of 'presence-at-hand' which is Dasein's 
own. This latter kind of presence-at-hand becomes accessible not by dis- 
regarding Dasein's specific structures but only by understanding them in 
advance. Dasein understands its ownmost Being in the sense of a certain 
'factual Being-present-at-hand'.* 1 And yet the 'factuality' of the fact 
[Tatsache] of one's own Dasein is at bottom quite different ontologically 
from the factual occurrence of some kind of mineral, for example. When- 
ever Dasein is, it is as a Fact; and the factuality of such a Fact is what we 
shall call Dasein's "facticity. 1 This is a definite way of Being [Seinsbe- 
stimmtheit], and it has a complicated structure which cannot even be 
grasped as a problem until Dasein's basic existential states have been 
worked out. The concept of "facticity" implies that an entity c within-the- 
world' has Being-in- 1 he-world in such a way that it can understand itself 
as bound up in its 'destiny' with the Being of those entities which it 
encounters within its own world. 

In the first instance it is enough to see the ontological difference 
between Being-in as an existentiale and the category of the 'insideness' 
which things present-at-hand can have with regard to one another. By 
thus delimiting Being-in, we are not denying every kind of 'spatiality 5 
to Dasein. On the contrary, Dasein itself has a 'Being-in-space' of its 
own; but this in turn is possible only on the basis of Being-in-the-world in 
general. Hence Being-in is not to be explained ontologically by some 
ontical characterization, as if one were to say, for instance, that Being-in 
in a world is a spiritual property, and that man's 'spatiality 5 is a result of 
his bodily nature (which, at the same time, always gets 'founded' upon 
corporeality). Here again we are faced with the Being-present-at-hand- 
together of some such spiritual Thing along with a corporeal Thing, 
while the Being of the entity thus compounded remains more obscure 

1 'Die Tatsachlichkeit des Faktums Dasein, als welches jeweilig jedes Dasein ist, 
nennen wir seine Faktizitat' We shall as a rule translate 'Tatsachlichkeit' as 'factuality', 
and 'Faktizitat' as 'facticity', following our conventions for 'tatsachlich' and 'faktisch*. 
(See note 2, p. 27, H. 7 above.) The present passage suggests a comparable distinction 
between the nouns 'Tatsache' and 'Faktum' ; so while we find many passages where these 
seem to be used interchangeably, we translate 'Faktum' as 'Fact' with an initial capital, 
using 'fact' for 'Tatsache' and various other expressions. On 'factuality' and 'facticity' 
see also H. 135 below. 

I. 2 Being and Time 83 

than ever. Not until we understand Being-in-the-world as an essential 
structure of Dasein can we have any insight into Dasein's existential 
spatiality. Such an insight will keep us from failing to see this structure or 
from previously cancelling it out — a procedure motivated not ontologi- 
cally but rather 'metaphysically' by the naive supposition that man is, 
in the first instance, a spiritual Thing which subsequently gets misplaced 
'into 5 a space. 

Dasein's facticity is such that its Being-in-the-world has always dis- 
persed [zerstreut] itself or even split itself up into definite ways of Being- 
in. The multiplicity of these is indicated by the following examples: having 
to do with something, producing something, attending to something and 
looking after it, making use of something, giving something up and letting 
it go, undertaking, accomplishing, evincing, interrogating, considering, 
discussing, determining. . . . All these ways of Being-in have concern 1 as 
their kind of Being — a kind of Being which we have yet to characterize in 
detail. Leaving undone, neglecting, renouncing, taking a rest — these too 
are ways of concern; but these are all deficient modes, in which the pos- 
sibilities of concern are kept to a 'bare minimum'. 2 The term 'concern' 
has, in the first instance, its colloquial [vorwissenschaftliche] signification, 
and can mean to carry out something, to get it done [erledigen], to 
Straighten it out'. It can also mean to 'provide oneself with something'. 3 
We use the expression with still another characteristic turn of phrase 
when we say "I am concerned for the success of the undertaking." 4 Here 
'concern' means something like apprehensiveness. In contrast to these 
colloquial ontical significations, the expression 'concern' will be used in 
this investigation as an ontological term for an existentiale, and will desig- 
nate the Being of a possible way of Being-in-the-world. This term has 
been chosen not because Dasein happens to be proximally and to a large 
extent 'practical' and economic, but because the Being of Dasein itself 

1 'Besorgen 9 . As Heidegger points out, he will use this term in a special sense which is to 
be distinguished from many of its customary usages. We shall, as a rule, translate it by 
'concern', though this is by no means an exact equivalent. The English word 'concern' is 
used in many expressions where 'Besorgen' would be inappropriate in German, such as 
'This concerns you', 'That is my concern', 'He has an interest in several banking con- 
cerns'. 'Besorgen' stands rather for the kind of 'concern' in which we 'concern ourselves' 
with activities which we perform or things which we procure. 

2 '. . . alle Modi des "Nur noch" in bezug auf Moglichkeiten des Besorgens.' The point 
is that in these cases concern is just barely ('nur noch') involved. 

3 '. . . sich etwas besorgen im Sinne von "sich etwas verschaffen'V 

4 '. . . ich besorge, dass das Unternehmen misslingt.' Here it is not difficult to find a 
corresponding usage of 'concern', as our version suggests. But the analogy is imperfect. 
While we can say that we are 'concerned for the success of the enterprise' or 'concerned 
lest the enterprise should fail,* we would hardly follow the German to the extent of 
expressing 'concern that' the enterprise should fail; nor would the German express 
'Besorgen' at discovering that the enterprise has failed already. 

84 Being and Time I. 2 

is to be made visible as care, 1 This expression too is to be taken as an 
ontological structural concept. (See Chapter 6 of this Division.) It has 
nothing to do with 'tribulation', 'melancholy', or the 'cares of life', though 
ontically one can come across these in every Dasein. These — like their 
opposites, 'gaiety' and 'freedom from care' — are ontically possible only 
because Dasein, when understood ontologically, is care. Because Being-in- 
the-world belongs essentially to Dasein, its Being towards the world [Sein 
zur Welt] is essentially concern. 

From what we have been saying, it follows that Being-in is not a 'pro- 
perty' which Dasein sometimes has and sometimes does not have, and 
without which it could be just as well as it could with it. It is not the case 
that man 'is' and then has, by way of an extra, a relationship-of-Being 
towards the 'world' — a world with which he provides himself occasionally. 2 
Dasein is never 'proximally' an entity which is, so to speak, free from 
Being-in, but which sometimes has the inclination to take up a 'relation- 
ship' towards the world. Taking up relationships towards the world is 
possible only because Dasein, as Being-in-the-world, is as it is. This state of 
Being does not arise just because some other entity is present-at-hand 
outside of Dasein and meets up with it. Such an entity can 'meet up with' 
Dasein only in so far as it can, of its own accord, show itself within a world. 

Nowadays there is much talk about 'man's having an environment 
[Umwelt] ' ; but this says nothing ontologically as long as this 'having' is 
left indefinite. In its very possibility this 'having' is founded upon the 
existential state of Being-in. Because Dasein is essentially an entity with 
Being-in, it can explicitly discover those entities which it encounters 
environmentally, it can know them, it can avail itself of them, it can have 
the 'world'. To talk about 'having an environment' is ontically trivial, 
but ontologically it presents a problem. To solve it requires nothing else 
than defining the Being of Dasein, and doing so in a way which is onto- 
logically adequate. Although this state of Being is one of which use has 
made in biology, especially since K. von Baer, one must not conclude 
that its philosophical use implies 'biologism'. For the environment is a 
structure which even biology as a positive science can never find and can 
never define, but must presuppose and constantly employ. Yet, even as an 
a priori condition for the objects which biology takes for its theme, this 
structure itself can be explained philosophically only if it has been con- 
ceived beforehand as a structure of Dasein. Only in terms of an orientation 

1 *Sorge\ The important etymological connection between 'Besorgen' ('concern*) and 
'Sorge* ('care*) is lost in our translation. On ^orge* see especially Sections 41 and 42 

2 *Der Mensch "ist" nicht und hat iiberdies noch ein Seinsverhaltnis zur "Welt", die 
er sich gelegentlich zulegt.' 

I. 2 Being and Time 85 

towards the ontological structure thus conceived can 'life' as a state 
of Being be defined a priori, and this must be done in a privative manner. 1 
Ontically as well as ontologically, the priority belongs to Being-in-the 
world as concern. In the analytic of Dasein this structure undergoes a 
basic Interpretation. 

But have we not confined ourselves to negative assertions in all our 
attempts to determine the nature of this state of Being? Though this 
Being-in is supposedly so fundamental, we always keep hearing about 
what it is not Yes indeed. But there is nothing accidental about our 
characterizing it predominantly in so negative a manner. In doing so we 
have rather made known what is peculiar to this phenomenon, and our 
characterization is therefore positive in a genuine sense — a sense appro- 
priate to the phenomenon itself. When Being-in-the-world is exhibited 
phenomenologically, disguises and concealments are rejected because this 
phenomenon itself always gets 'seen' in a certain way in every Dasein. 
And it thus gets 'seen' because it makes up a basic state of Dasein, and in 
every case is already disclosed for Dasein's understanding of Being, and 
disclosed along with that Being itself. But for the most part this pheno- 
menon has been explained in a way which is basically wrong, or inter- 
preted in an ontologically inadequate manner. On the other hand, this 
'seeing in a certain way and yet for the most part wrongly explaining' 
is itself based upon nothing else than this very state of Dasein's Being, 
which is such that Dasein itself— and this means also its Being-in-the 
world — gets its ontological understanding of itself in the first instance 
from those entities which it itself is not but which it encounters 'within' 
its world, and from the Being which they possess. 

Both i n Dasein and f o r it, this state of Being is always in some way 
familiar [bekannt]. Now if it is also to become known [erkannt], the 
knowing which such a task explicitly implies takes itself (as a knowing of 
the world [Welterkennen]) as the chief exemplification of the 'soul's' 
relationship to the world. Knowing the world (voetv) — or rather address- 
ing oneself to the 'world' and discussing it (Adyoy)— thus functions as the 
primary mode of Being-in-the-world, even though Being-in-the-world 
does not as such get conceived. But because this structure of Being 
remains ontologically inaccessible, yet is experienced ontically as a 'rela- 
tionship' between one entity (the world) and another (the soul), and 
because one proximally understands Being by taking entities as entities 
within-the-world for one's ontological foothold, one tries to conceive the 
relationship between world and soul as grounded in these two entities 

1 '. . . auf dem Wege der Privation . . The point is that in order to understand life 
merely as such, we must make abstraction from the fuller life of Dasein. See H. 50 above. 

86 Being and Time I. 2 

themselves and in the meaning of their Being — namely, to conceive it as 
Being-present-at-hand. And even though Being-in-the-world is something 
of which one has pre-phenomenological experience and acquaintance 
[erfahren und gekannt], it becomes invisible if one interprets it in a way 
which is ontologically inappropriate. This state of Dasein's Being is now 
one with which one is just barely acquainted (and indeed as something 
obvious), with the stamp of an inappropriate interpretation. So in this 
way it becomes the 'evident* point of departure for problems of epistemo- 
logy or the 'metaphysics of knowledge*. For what is more obvious than 
that a 'subject' is related to an 'Object' and vice versa? This 'subject- 
Object-relationship' must be presupposed. But while this presupposition 
is unimpeachable in its facticity, this makes it indeed a baleful one, if its 
ontological necessity and especially its ontological meaning are to be left 
in the dark. 

Thus the phenomenon of Being-in has for the most part been repre- 
sented exclusively by a single exemplar — knowing the world. This has not 
only been the case in epistemology; for even practical behaviour has been 
understood as behaviour which is 'rto/i-theoreticaP and 'atheoretical'. 
Because knowing has been given this priority, our understanding of its own- 
most kind of Being gets led astray, and accordingly Being-in-the-world 
must be exhibited even more precisely with regard to knowing the world, 
and must itself be made visible as an existential 'modality' of Being-in. 

13. A Founded Mode in which Being-in is Exemplified. 1 Knowing the World. 

If Being-in-the-world is a basic state of Dasein, and one in which Dasein 
operates not only in general but pre-eminently in the mode of everyday- 
ness, then it must also be something which has always been experienced 
ontically. It would be unintelligible for Being-in-the-world to remain 
totally veiled from view, especially since Dasein has at its disposal an 
understanding of its own Being, no matter how indefinitely this under- 
standing may function. But no sooner was the 'phenomenon of 
knowing the world' grasped than it got interpreted in a 'superficial', 

1 *DU Exemplifizierung des In-Seins an einem fundierten Modus.* The conception of 'founded* 
modes is taken from Husserl, who introduces the concept of bounding' in his Logische 
Untersuchungen, vol. II, Part I, chapter 2 (second edition, Halle, 19 13, p. 261). This 
passage has been closely paraphrased as follows by Marvin Farber in his The Foundation 
of Phenomenology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1943, p. 297; 'If in accordance with essential 
law an a can only exist in a comprehensive unity which connects it with a then we 
say, an a as such needs foundation through a or also, an a as such is in need of com- 
pletion by means of a p. If accordingly ao , /ao are definite particular cases of the pure 
genera a, or /u, which stand in the cited relationship, and if they are members of one 
whole, then we say that ao is founded by /*o; and it is exclusively founded by /jo if the need 
of the completion of a 0 is alone satisfied by /z<>. This terminology can be applied to the 
species themselves; the equivocation is harmless.' Thus a founded mode of Being-in is 
simply a mode which can subsist only when connected with something else. 

I. 2 Being and Time 87 

formal manner. The evidence for this is the procedure (still customary 
today) of setting up knowing as a 'relation between subject and Object' 
— a procedure in which there lurks as much 'truth' as vacuity. But subject 
and Object do not coincide with Dasein and the world. 

Even if it were feasible to give an ontological definition of "Being-in" 
primarily in terms of a Being-in-the-world which knows, it would still be our 
first task to show that knowing has the phenomenal character of a Being 
which is in and towards the world. If one reflects upon this relationship of 
Being, an entity called "Nature" is given proximallyas that which becomes 
known. Knowing, as such, is not to be met in this entity. If knowing 'is* at 
all, it belongs solely to those entities which know. But even in those entities, 
human-Things, knowing is not present-at-hand. In any case, it is not 
externally ascertainable as, let us say, bodily properties are. 1 Now, inas- 
much as knowing belongs to these entities and is not some external 
characteristic, it must be 'inside'. Now the more unequivocally one main- 
tains that knowing is proximally and really 'inside' and indeed has by no 
means the same kind of Being as entities which are both physical and 
psychical, the less one presupposes when one believes that one is making 
headway in the question of the essence of knowledge and in the clarifica- 
tion of the relationship between subject and Object. For only then can 
the problem arise of how this knowing subject comes out of its inner 
'sphere' into one which is 'other and external', of how knowing can have 
any object at all, and of how one must think of the object itself so that 
eventually the subject knows it without needing to venture a leap into 
another sphere. But in any of the numerous varieties which this approach 
may take, the question of the kind of Being which belongs to this knowing 
subject is left entirely unasked, though whenever its knowing gets handled, 
its way of Being is already included tacitly in one's theme. Of course we 
are sometimes assured that we are certainly not to think of the subject's 
"inside" [Innen] and its 'inner sphere' as a sort of 'box' or 'cabinet'. But 
when one asks for the positive signification of this 'inside' of immanence 
in which knowing is proximally enclosed, or when one inquires how this 
'Being inside' ["Innenseins"] which knowing possesses has its own char- 
acter of Being grounded in the kind of Being which belongs to the subject, 
then silence reigns. And no matter how this inner sphere may get inter- 
preted, if one does no more than ask how knowing makes its way 'out of 
it and achieves 'transcendence', it becomes evident that the knowing 
which presents such enigmas will remain problematical unless one has 
previously clarified how it is and what it is. 

1 4 In jedem Falle ist est nicht so ausserlich feststellbar wie etwa leibliche Eigenschaiten. 
The older editions have '. . . nicht ist es . . and place a comma after 'feststellbar'. 

88 Being and Time I. 2 

With this kind of approach one remains blind to what is already 
tacitly implied even when one takes the phenomenon of knowing as one's 
theme in the most provisional manner: namely, that knowing is a mode 
of Being of Dasein as Being-in-the-world, and is founded ontically upon 
this state of Being. But if, as we suggest, we thus find phenomenally that 
knowing is a kind of Being which belongs to Being-in-the-world, one might object 
that with such an Interpretation of knowing, the problem of knowledge 
is nullified; for what is left to be asked if one presupposes that knowing is 
already 'alongside' its world, when it is not supposed to reach that world 
except in the transcending of the subject? In this question the construc- 
tivist 'standpoint', which has not been phenomenally demonstrated, again 
comes to the fore; but quite apart from this, what higher court is to decide 
whether and in what sense there is to be any problem of knowledge other 
than that of the phenomenon of knowing as such and the kind of Being 
which belongs to the knower? 

If we now ask what shows itself in the phenomenal findings about 
knowing, we must keep in mind that knowing is grounded beforehand 
in a Being-already-alongside-the-world, which is essentially constitutive 
for Dasein's Being. 1 Proximally, this Being-already-alongside is not just 
a fixed staring at something that is purely present-at-hand. Being-in-the- 
world, as concern, is fascinated by the world with which it is concerned. 2 
If knowing is to be possible as a way of determining the nature of the 
present-at-hand by observing it, 3 then there must first be a deficiency in our 
having-to-do with the world concernfully. When concern holds back 
[Sichenthalten] from any kind of producing, manipulating, and the like, 
it puts itself into what is now the sole remaining mode of Being-in, the 
mode of just tarrying alongside. . . . [das Nur-noch-verweilen bei . . .] 
This kind of Being towards the world is one which lets us encounter 
entities within-the-world purely in the way they look (etSos), just that; 
on the basis of this kind of Being, and as a mode of it, looking explicitly at 
what we encounter is possible. 4 Looking at something in this way is some- 
times a definite way of taking up a direction towards something— of setting 
our sights towards what is present-at-hand. It takes over a 'view-point' in 
advance from the entity which it encounters. Such looking-at enters the 

1 . . dass das Erkennen selbst vorgangig grundet in einem Schon-sein-bei-der-Welt, 
als welches das Sein von Dasein wesenhaft konstituiert.' 

* 'Das In-der-Welt-sein ist als Besorgen von der besorgten Welt benommen.* Here we 
follow the older editions. The newer editions have 'das Besorgen' instead of 'als Besorgen*. 

8 'Damit Erkennen als betrachtendes Bestimmen des Vorhandenen moglich sei . . .» 
Here too we follow the older editions. The newer editions again have 'das' instead of 'als\ 

* 'Aufdem Grunde dieser Seinsart zur Welt, die das innerweltlich begegnende Seiende 
nur nochinseinempuren^te (efSoy) begegnen lass t, und als Modus dieser Seinsart 
1st em ausdruckhches Hinsehen auf das so Begenende moglich.' 

I. 2 Being and Time 89 

mode of dwelling autonomously alongside entities within-the-world. 1 In 
this kind of 'dwelling 9 as a holding-oneself-back from any manipulation or 
utilization, the perception of the present-at-hand is consummated. 2 Per- 
ception is consummated when one addresses oneself to something as some- 
thing and discusses it as such. 3 This amounts to interpretation in the broadest 
sense; and on the basis of such interpretation, perception becomes an act 
of making determinate* What is thus perceived and made determinate can 
be expressed in propositions, and can be retained and preserved as what 
has thus been asserted. This perceptive retention of an assertion 5 about 
something is itself a way of Being-in-the-world; it is not to be Interpreted 
as a 'procedure' by which a subject provides itself with representations 
[Vorstellungen] of something which remain stored up 'inside* as having 
been thus appropriated, and with regard to which the question of how 
they 'agree* with actuality can occasionally arise. 

When Dasein directs itself towards something and grasps it, it does not 
somehow first get out of an inner sphere in which it has been proximally 
encapsulated, but its primary kind of Being is such that it is always 
'outside' alongside entities which it encounters and which belong to a 
world already discovered. Nor is any inner sphere abandoned when 
Dasein dwells alongside the entity to be known, and determines its char- 
acter; but even in this 'Being-outside' alongside the object, Dasein is still 
'inside', if we understand this in the correct sense; that is to say, it is itself 
'inside' as a Being-in-the-world which knows. And furthermore, the 
perceiving of what is known is not a process of returning with one's booty 
to the 'cabinet' of consciousness after one has gone out and grasped it; 
even in perceiving, retaining, and preserving, the Dasein which knows 
remains outside, and it does so as Dasein. If I 'merely 'know [Wissen] about 
some way in which the Being of entities is interconnected, if I 'only' 
represent them, if I 'do no more' than 'think' about them, I am no less 

1 'Solches Hinsehen kommt selbst in den Modus eines eigenstandigen Sichaufhaltens 
bei dem innerweltlichen Seienden.' 

2 'In sogerateten "Atifenthalt" — als dem Sichenthalten von jeglicher Hantierung and 
Nutzung — vollzieht sich das Vernehmen des Vorhandenen.' The word 'Aufenthalt' norm- 
ally means a stopping-off at some place, a sojourn, an abiding, or even an abode or dwel- 
ling. Here the author is exploiting the fact that it includes both the prefixes 'auf-' and 
'ent-', which we find in the verbs 'aufhalten' and 'enthalten'. 'Aufhalten' means to hold 
something at a stage which it has reached, to arrest it, to stop it; when used reflexively it 
can mean to stay at a place, to dwell there. While 'enthalten' usually means to contain, 
it preserves its more literal meaning of holding back or refraining, when it is used re- 
flexively. All these meanings are presumably packed into the word 'Aufenthalt' as used 
here, and are hardly suggested by our 'dwelling'. 

3 'Das Vernehmen hat die Vollzugsart des Ansprechens und Besprechens von etwas als 
etwas.' On 'something as something' see Section 32 below (H. 149), where 'interpretation' 
is also discussed. 

4 . . wird das Vernehmen zum Bestimmen* 

6 'Aussage'. For further discussion see Section 33 below. 

90 Being and Time I. 2 

alongside the entities outside in the world than when I originally grasp 
them. 1 Even the forgetting of something, in which every relationship of 
Being towards what one formerly knew has seemingly been obliterated, 
must be conceived as a modification of the primordial Being-in; and this holds 
for every delusion and for every error. 

We have now pointed out how those modes of Being-in-the-world 
which are constitutive for knowing the world are interconnected in their 
foundations; this makes it plain that in knowing, Dasein achieves a new 
status of Being [Seinsstand] towards a world which has already been dis- 
covered in Dasein itself. This new possibility of Being can develop itself 
autonomously; it can become a task to be accomplished, and as scientific 
knowledge it can take over the guidance for Being-in-the-world. But a 
'commercium 9 of the subject with a world does not get created for the first 
time by knowing, nor does it arise from some way in which the world acts 
upon a subject. Knowing is a mode of Dasein founded upon Being-in-the- 
world. Thus Being-in-the-world, as a basic state, must be Interpreted 

1 '. . . bei cinem ortgindren Erfassen.* 



1f 14. The Idea of the Worldhood of the World 1 in General 
Being-in-the-world shall first be made visible with regard to that 
item of its structure which is the 'world' itself. To accomplish this task 
seems easy and so trivial as to make one keep taking for granted that it 
may be dispensed with. What can be meant by describing 'the world* as 
a phenomenon? It means to let us see what shows itself in 'entities' within 
the world. Here the first step is to enumerate the things that are 'in' the 
world: houses, trees, people, mountains, stars. We can depict the way such 
entities 'look', and we can give an account of occurrences in them and with 
them. This, however, is obviously a pre-phenomenological 'business' 
which cannot be at all relevant phenomenologically. Such a description is 
always confined to entities. It is ontical. But what we are seeking is Being. 
And we have formally defined 'phenomenon' in the phenomenological 
sense as that which shows itself as Being and as a structure of Being. 

Thus, to give a phenomenological description of the 'world' will mean 
to exhibit the Being of those entities which are present-at-hand within 
the world, and to fix it in concepts which are categorial. Now the entities 
within the world are Things — Things of Nature, and Things 'invested 
with value' ["wertbehaftete" Dinge]. Their Thinghood becomes a 
problem; and to the extent that the Thinghood of Things 'invested with 
value* is based upon the Thinghood of Nature, our primary theme is 
the Being of Things of Nature — Nature as such. That characteristic of 
Being which belongs to Things of Nature (substances), and upon which 

1 'Welt*, 'weltlich', 'Weltlichkeit', 'Weltmassigkeit'. We shall usually translate 'Welt' 
as 'the world' or *a world*, following English idiom, though Heidegger frequently omits 
the article when he wishes to refer to 'Welt' as a 'characteristic' of Dasein. In ordinary 
German the adjective 'weltlich' and the derivative noun 'Weltlichkeit' have much the 
same connotations as the English 'worldly' and 'worldliness'; but the meanings which 
Heidegger assigns to them (H. 65) are quite different from those of their English cognates. 
At the risk of obscuring the etymological connection and occasionally misleading the 
reader, we shall translate 'weklich' as 'worldly', 'Weltlichkeit' as 'worldhood', and 
'Weltmassigkeit' as 'worldly character'. The reader must bear in mind, however, that 
there is no suggestion here of the 'worldliness' of the 'man of the world'. 

92 Being and Time I. 3 

everything is founded, is substantiality. What is its ontological meaning? 
By asking this, we have given an unequivocal direction to our inquiry. 

But is this a way of asking ontologically about the 'world'? The 
problematic which we have thus marked out is one which is undoubtedly 
ontological. But even if this ontology should itself succeed in explicating 
the Being of Nature in the very purest manner, in conformity with the 
basic assertions about this entity, which the mathematical natural 
sciences provide, it will never reach the phenomenon that is the 'world'. 
Nature is itself an entity which is encountered within the world and 
which can be discovered in various ways and at various stages. 

Should we then first attach ourselves to those entities with which 
Dasein proximally and for the most part dwells — Things 'invested with 
value' ? Do not these 'really' show us the world in which we live? Perhaps, 
in fact, they show us something like the 'world' more penetratingly. But 
these Things too are entities 'within' the world. 

Neither the ontical depiction of entities within-the-world nor the ontological 
Interpretation of their Being is such as to reach the phenomenon of the ' world' In 
both of these ways of access to 'Objective Being', the 'world' has already 
been 'presupposed', and indeed in various ways. 

Is it possible that ultimately we cannot address ourselves to 'the world' 
as determining the nature of the entity we have mentioned? Yet we call 
this entity one which is "within-the-world". Is 'world' perhaps a charac- 
teristic of Dasein's Being? And in that case, does every Dasein 'proximally' 
have its world? Does not 'world' thus become something 'subjective'? 
How, then, can there be a 'common' world 'in' which, nevertheless, we 
are? And if we raise the question of the 'world', what world do we have in 
view? Neither the common world nor the subjective world, but the world- 
hood of the world as such. By what avenue do we meet this phenomenon ? 

'Worldhood' is an ontological concept, and stands for the structure of 
one of the constitutive items of Being-in-the-world. But we know Being- 
in-the-world as a way in which Dasein's character is defined existentially. 
Thus worldhood itself is an existentiale. If we inquire ontologically about 
the 'world', we by no means abandon the analytic of Dasein as a field for 
thematic study. Ontologically, 'world' is not a way of characterizing those 
entities which Dasein essentially is not; it is rather a characteristic of 
Dasein itself. This does not rule out the possibility that when we investi- 
gate the phenomenon of the 'world' we must do so by the avenue of 
entities within-the-world and the Being which they possess. The task of 
'describing' the world phenomenologically is so far from obvious that even 
if we do no more than determine adequately what form it shall take, 
essential ontological clarifications will be needed. 

I. 3 Being and Time 93 

This discussion of the word 'world', and our frequent use of it have made 
it apparent that it is used in several ways. By unravelling these we can get 
an indication of the different kinds of phenomena that are signified, and 
of the way in which they are interconnected. 

1. "World" is used as an ontical concept, and signifies the totality of 
those entities which can be present-at-hand within the world. 

2. "World" functions as an ontological term, and signifies the Being 
of those entities which we have just mentioned. And indeed 'world' can 
become a term for any realm which encompasses a multiplicity of entities : 
for instance, when one talks of the 'world' of a mathematician, 'world' 
signifies the realm of possible objects of mathematics. 

3. "World" can be understood in another ontical sense — not, however, 
as those entities which Dasein essentially is not and which can be en- 
countered within-the-world, but rather as that 'wherein' a factical Dasein 
as such can be said to 'live'. "World" has here a pre-ontological existentiell 
signification. Here again there are different possibilities : ' 'world" may stand 
for the 'public' we-world, or one's 'own' closest (domestic) environment. 1 

4. Finally, "world" designates the ontologico-existential concept of 
worldhood, Worldhood itself may have as its modes whatever structural 
wholes any special 'worlds' may have at the time; but it embraces in itself 
the a priori character of worldhood in general. We shall reserve the 
expression "world" as a term for our third signification. If we should 
sometimes use it in the first of these senses, we shall mark this with 
single quotation marks. 

The derivative form 'worldly' will then apply terminologically to a 
kind of Being which belongs to Dasein, never to a kind which belongs to 
entities present-at-hand 'in' the world. We shall designate these latter 
entities as "belonging to the world" or "within-the-world" [weltzuge- 
horig oder innerweltlich]. 

A glance at previous ontology shows that if one fails to see Being-in- 
the-world as a state of Dasein, the phenomenon of worldhood likewise 
gets passed over. One tries instead to Interpret the world in terms of the 
Being of those entities which are present-at-hand within-the-world but 
which are by no means proximally discovered — namely, in terms of 
Nature. If one understands Nature ontologico-categoriaily, one finds that 

1 . . die "eigene" und nachste (hausliche) Umwelt.' The word 'Umwelt', which is 
customarily translated as 'environment', means literally the 'world around* or the 'world 
about'. The prefix 'urn-', however, not only may mean 'around* or 'about', but, as we 
shall see, can also be used in an expression such as 'urn zu . . which is most easily 
translated as 'in order to'. Section 15 will be largely devoted to a study of several words in 
which this same prefix occurs, though this is by no means apparent in the words we have 
chosen to represent them: 'Umgang' ('dealings'); 'das Um-zu' ('the "in-order-to" ') ; 
'Umsicht' ('circumspection'). 

94 Being and Time I. 3 

Nature is a limiting case of the Being of possible entities within-the-world. 
Only in some definite mode of its own Being-in-the-world can Dasein 
discover entities as Nature. 1 This manner of knowing them has the 
character of depriving the world of its worldhood in a definite way. 
'Nature', as the categorial aggregate of those structures of Being which a 
definite entity encountered within-the-world may possess, can never make 
worldhood intelligible. But even the phenomenon of 'Nature', as it is 
conceived, for instance, in romanticism, can be grasped ontologically only 
in terms of the concept of the world — that is to say, in terms of the 
analytic of Dasein. 

When it comes to the problem of analysing the world's worldhood onto- 
logically, traditional ontology operates in a blind alley, if, indeed, it sees 
this problem at all. On the other hand, if we are to Interpret the world- 
hood of Dasein and the possible ways in which Dasein is made worldly 
[Verweltlichung], we must show why the kind of Being with which Dasein 
knows the world is such that it passes over the phenomenon of worldhood 
both ontically and ontologically. But at the same time the very Fact of 
this passing-over suggests that we must take special precautions to get the 
right phenomenal point of departure [Ausgang] for access [Zugang] to 
the phenomenon of worldhood, so that it will not get passed over. 

Our method has already been assigned [Anweisung], The theme of 
our analytic is to be Being-in-the-world, and accordingly the very world 
itself; and these are to be considered within the horizon of average every- 
dayness — the kind of Being which is closest to Dasein. We must make a 
study of everyday Being-in-the-world; with the phenomenal support 
which this gives us, something like the world must come into view. 

That world of everyday Dasein which is closest to it, is the environment. 
From this existential character of average Being-in-the-world, our 
investigation will take its course [Gang] towards the idea of worldhood 
in general. We shall seek the worldhood of the environment (environ- 
mentality) by going through an ontological Interpretation of those entities 
Withm-the-environment which we encounter as closest to us. The expression 
"environment" [Umwelt] contains in the 'environ' ["urn"] a suggestion 
of spatiality. Yet the 'around' ["Umherum"] which is constitutive for the 
environment does not have a primarily 'spatial' meaning. Instead, the 
spatial character which incontestably belongs to any environment, can be 
clarified only in terms of the structure of worldhood. From this point of 
view, Dasein's spatiality, of which we have given an indication in Section 
12, becomes phenomenally visible. In ontology, however, an attempt has 

1 'Das Seicnde als Natur kann das Dasein nur in einem bestimmten Modus seines In- 
der-Welt-seins entdecken.' 

I. 3 Being and Time 95 

been made to start with spatiality and then to Interpret the Being of the 
'world' as res externa. In Descartes we find the most extreme tendency 
towards such an ontology of the 'world', with, indeed, a counter-orienta- 
tion towards the res cogitans — which does not coincide with Dasein either 
ontically or ontologically. The analysis of worldhood which we are here 
attempting can be made clearer if we show how it differs from such an 
ontological tendency. Our analysis will be completed in three stages: 
(A) the analysis of environmentally and worldhood in general; (B) an 
illustrative contrast between our analysis of worldhood and Descartes' 
ontology of the 'world'; (C) the aroundness [das Umhafte] of the environ- 
ment, and the 'spatiality' of Dasein. 1 

A. Analysis of Environmentality and Worldhood in General 

\ /j. The Being of the Entities Encountered in the Environment 

The Being of those entities which we encounter as closest to us can be 
exhibited phenomenologically if we take as our clue our everyday Being- 
in-the-world, which we also call our "dealings" 2 in the world and with 
entities within-the-world. Such dealings have already dispersed themselves 
into manifold ways of concern. 3 The kind of dealing which is closest to us 
is as we have shown, not a bare perceptual cognition, but rather that 
kind of concern which manipulates things and puts them to use; and this 
has its own kind of 'knowledge 5 . The phenomenological question applies 
in the first instance to the Being of those entities which we encounter in 
such concern. To assure the kind of seeing which is here required, we must 
first make a remark about method. 

In the disclosure and explication of Being, entities are in every case our 
preliminary and our accompanying theme [das Vor-und Mitthematische] ; 
but our real theme is Being. In the domain of the present analysis, the 
entities we shall take as our preliminary theme are those which show them- 
selves in our concern with the environment. Such entities are not thereby 
objects for knowing the 'world' theoretically; they are simply what gets 
used, what gets produced, and so forth. As entities so encountered, they 
become the preliminary theme for the purview of a 'knowing' which, as 
phenomenological, looks primarily towards Being, and which, in thus 
taking Being as its theme, takes these entities as its accompanying theme. 
This phenomenological interpretation is accordingly not a way of knowing 

1 A is considered in Sections 15-18; B in Sections 19-21; C in Sections 22-24. 

3 'Umgang'. This word means literally a 'going around* or 'going about', in a sense not 
too far removed from what we have in mind when we say that someone is 'going about his 
business'. 'Dealings' is by no means an accurate translation, but is perhaps as convenient 
as any. 'Intercourse' and 'trafficking' are also possible translations. 

3 See above, H. 57, n. 1, p. 83. 

96 Being and Time I. 3 

those characteristics of entities which themselves are [seiender Beschaff- 
enheiten des Seienden] ; it is rather a determination of the structure of 
the Being which entities possess. But as an investigation of Being, it brings 
to completion, autonomously and explicitly, that understanding of Being 
which belongs already to Dasein and which c comes alive* in any of its 
dealings with entities. Those entities which serve phenomenologically as 
our preliminary theme — in this case, those which are used or which are 
to be found in the course of production — become accessible when we put 
ourselves into the position of concerning ourselves with them in some 
such way. Taken strictly, this talk about "putting ourselves into such a 
position" [Sichversetzen] is misleading; for the kind of Being which 
belongs to such concernful dealings is not one into which we need to put 
ourselves first. This is the way in which everyday Dasein always is: when 
I open the door, for instance, I use the latch. The achieving of pheno- 
menological access to the entities which we encounter, consists rather in 
thrusting aside our interpretative tendencies, which keep thrusting them- 
selves upon us and running along with us, and which conceal not only the 
phenomenon of such 'concern', but even more those entities themselves as 
encountered of their own accord in our concern with them. These entang- 
ling errors become plain if in the course of our investigation we now ask 
which entities shall be taken as our preliminary theme and established as 
the pre-phenomenal basis for our study. 

One may answer: "Tilings." But with this obvious answer we have 
perhaps already missed the pre-phenomenal basis we are seeking. For in 
addressing these entities as 'Things' (res), we have tacitly anticipated 
their ontological character. When analysis starts with such entities and 
goes on to inquire about Being, what it meets is Thinghood and Reality. 
Ontological explication discovers, as it proceeds, such characteristics of 
Being as substantiality, materiality, extendedness, side-by-side-ness, and 
so forth. But even pre-ontologically, in such Being as this, the entities 
which we encounter in concern are proximally hidden. When one desig- 
nates Things as the entities that are 'proximally given', one goes onto- 
logically astray, even though ontically one has something else in mind. 
What one really has in mind remains undetermined. But suppose one 
characterizes these 'Things' as Things 'invested with value' ? What does 
"value" mean ontologically ? How are we to categorize this 'investing' 
and Being-invested? Disregarding the obscurity of this structure of 
investiture with value, have we thus met that phenomenal characteristic 
of Being which belongs to what we encounter in our concernful dealings? 

The Greeks had an appropriate term for 'Things' : it pay liar a — that is 
to say, that which one has to do with in one's concernful dealings 

I. 3 Being and Time 97 

(irpa&s). But ontologically, the specifically 'pragmatic' character of 
the irpdyfxara is just what the Greeks left in obscurity; they thought of 
these 'proximally' as 'mere Things'. We shall call those entities which we 
encounter in concern "equipment". 1 In our dealings we come across 
equipment for writing, sewing, working, transportation, measurement. 
The kind of Being which equipment possesses must be exhibited. The 
clue for doing this lies in our first defining what makes an item of equip- 
ment — namely, its equipmentality. 

Taken strictly, there 'is' no such thing as an equipment. To the Being 
of any equipment there always belongs a totality of equipment, in which 
it can be this equipment that it is. Equipment is essentially 'something 
in-order-to . . .' ["etwas um-zu . . ."]. A totality of equipment is constituted 
by various ways of the 'in-order-to', such as serviceability, conduciveness, 
usability, manipulability. 

In the 'in-order-to' as a structure there lies an assignment or reference of 
something to something. 2 Only in the analyses which are to follow can 
the phenomenon which this term 'assignment' indicates be made visible 
in its ontological genesis. Provisionally, it is enough to take a look 
phenomenally at a manifold of such assignments. Equipment — in accord- 
ance with its equipmentality — always is in terms of [aus] its belonging to 
other equipment: ink-stand, pen, ink, paper, blotting pad, table, lamp, 
furniture, windows, doors, room. These 'Things' never show themselves 

1 'das Zeug*. The word 'Zeug' has no precise English equivalent. While it may mean any 
implement, instrument, or tool, Heidegger uses it for the most part as a collective noun 
which is analogous to our relatively specific 'gear* (as in 'gear for fishing') or the more 
elaborate 'paraphernalia', or the still more general 'equipment', which we shall employ 
throughout this translation. In this collective sense 'Zeug' can sometimes be used in a way 
which is comparable to the use of 'stuff* in such sentences as 'there is plenty of stuff lying 
around'. (See H. 74.) In general, however, this pejorative connotation is lacking. For the 
most part Heidegger uses the term as a collective noun, so that he can say that there is no 
such thing as 'an equipment' ; but he still uses it occasionally with an indefinite article to 
refer to some specific tool or instrument — some item or bit of equipment. 

2 'In der Struktur "Um-zu" liegt eine Verweisung von etwas auf etwas.' There is no close 
English equivalent for the word 'Verweisung', which occurs many times in this chapter. 
The basic metaphor seems to be that of turning something away towards something else, 
or pointing it away, as when one 'refers' or 'commits' or 'relegates' or 'assigns' something 
to something else, whether one 'refers' a symbol to what it symbolizes, 'refers' a beggar 
to a welfare agency, 'commits' a person for trial, 'relegates' or 'banishes' him to Siberia, 
or even 'assigns' equipment to a purpose for which it is to be used. 'Verweisung' thus does 
some of the work of 'reference', 'commitment', 'assignment', 'relegation', 'banishment'; 
but it does not do all the work of any of these expressions. For a businessman to 'refer' to 
a letter, for a symbol to 'refer' to what it symbolizes, for a man to 'commit larceny or 
murder' or merely to 'commit himself to certain partisan views, for a teacher to give a 
pupil a long 'assignment', or even for a journalist to receive an 'assignment' to the Vatican, 
we would have to find some other verb than 'verweisen'. We shall, however, use the 
verbs 'assign' and 'refer' and their derivatives as perhaps the least misleading substitutes, 
employing whichever seems the more appropriate in the context, and occasionally using 
a hendiadys as in the present passage. See Section 1 7 for further discussion. (When other 
words such as 'anweisen' or 'zuweisen' are translated as 'assign', we shall usually subjoin 
the German in brackets.) 

98 Being and Time I. 3 

proximally as they are for themselves, so as to add up to a sum of realia 
and fill up a room. What we encounter as closest to us (though not as 
something taken as a theme) is the room; and we encounter it not 
as something 'between four walls' in a geometrical spatial sense, but as 
equipment for residing. Out of this the 'arrangement' emerges, and it is 
in this that any 'individual' item of equipment shows itself. Before it does 
so, a totality of equipment has already been discovered. 

Equipment can genuinely show itself only in dealings cut to its own 
measure (hammering with a hammer, for example) ; but in such dealings 
an entity of this kind is not grasped thematically as an occurring Thing, 
nor is the equipment-structure known as such even in the using. The 
hammering does not simply have knowledge about [um] the hammer's 
character as equipment, but it has appropriated this equipment in a way 
which could not possibly be more suitable. In dealings such as this, where 
something is put to use, our concern subordinates itself to the "in-order- 
to" which is constitutive for the equipment we are employing at the time; 
the less we just stare at the hammer-Thing, and the more we seize hold 
of it and use it, the more primordial does our relationship to it become, 
and the more unveiledly is it encountered as that which it is — as equip- 
ment. The hammering itself uncovers the specific 'manipulability' 
["Handlichkeit"] of the hammer. The kind of Being which equipment 
possesses — in which it manifests itself in its own right — wc call "readiness- 
to-hand" [Zukandenheit], 1 Only because equipment has this 'Being-in- 
itself 5 and does not merely occur, is it manipulable in the broadest sense 
and at our disposal. No matter how sharply we just look [Nur-noch- 
kinsehen] at the 'outward appearance' ["Aussehen]" of Things in whatever 
form this takes, we cannot discover anything ready-to-hand. If we look 
at Things just 'theoretically', we can get along without understanding 
readiness-to-hand. But when we deal with them by using them and mani- 
pulating them, this activity is not a blind one; it has its own kind of sight, 
by which our manipulation is guided and from which it acquires its 
specific Thingly character. Dealings with equipment subordinate them- 
selves to the manifold assignments of the 'in-order-to'. And the sight with 
which they thus accommodate themselves is circumspection. 2 

1 Italics only in earlier editions. 

2 The word 'Umsicht', which we translate by 'circumspection', is here presented as 
standing for a special kind of 'Sicht' ('sight'). Here, as elsewhere, Heidegger is taking 
advantage of the fact that the prefix 'um' may mean either 'around' or 'in order to*. 
* Umsicht' may accordingly be thought of as meaning 'looking around' or 'looking around 
for something' or 'looking around for a way to get something done'. In ordinary German 
usage, 'Umsicht' seems to have much the same connotation as our 'circumspection' — a 
kind of awareness in which one looks around before one decides just what one ought to 
do next. But Heidegger seems to be generalizing this notion as well as calling attention to 

I. 3 Being and Time gg 

'Practical' behaviour is not 'atheoretical' in the sense of "sightlessness". 1 
The way it differs from theoretical behaviour does not lie simply in the 
fact that in theoretical behaviour one observes, while in practical be- 
haviour one acts [gehandelt wird], and that action must employ theoretical 
cognition if it is not to remain blind; for the fact that observation is a kind 
of concern is just as primordial as the fact that action has its own kind of 
sight. Theoretical behaviour is just looking, without circumspection. But 
the fact that this looking is non-circumspective does not mean that it 
follows no rules : it constructs a canon for itself in the form of method. 

The ready-to-hand is not grasped theoretically at all, nor is it itself 
the sort of thing that circumspection takes proximally as a circumspective 
theme. The peculiarity of what is proximally ready-to-hand is that, in 
its readiness-to-hand, it must, as it were, withdraw [zuriickzuziehen] in 
order to be ready-to-hand quite authentically. That with which our every- 
day dealings proximally dwell is not the tools themselves [die Werkzeuge 
selbst]. On the contrary, that with which we concern ourselves primarily 
is the work — that which is to be produced at the time; and this is accord- 
ingly ready-to-hand too. The work bears with it that referential totality 
within which the equipment is encountered. 2 

The work to be produced, as the "towards-which" of such things as the 
hammer, the plane, and the needle, likewise has the kind of Being that 
belongs to equipment. The shoe which is to be produced is for wearing 
(footgear) [Schuhzeug]; the clock is manufactured for telling the time. 
The work which we chiefly encounter in our concernful dealings — the 
work that is to be found when one is "at work" on something [das in 
Arbeit befindliche] — has a usability which belongs to it essentially; in 
this usability it lets us encounter already the "towards-which" for which 
it is usable. A work that someone has ordered [das bestellte Werk] i s only 
by reason of its use and the assignment-context of entities which is dis- 
covered in using it. 

But the work to be produced is not merely usable for something. The 

the extent to which circumspection in the narrower sense occurs in our every-day living. 
(The distinction between 'sight* (Sicht') and 'seeing* ('Sehen') will be developed further 
in Sections 31 and 36 below.) 

1 '. . . im Sinne der Sichtlosigkeit . . .' The point of this sentence will be clear to the 
reader who recalls that the Greek verb OewpeTv, from which the words 'theoretical' and 
'atheoretical' are derived, originally meant 'to see'. Heidegger is pointing out that this is 
not what we have in mind in the traditional contrast between the 'theoretical' and the 

2 'Das Werk tragt die Verweisungsganzheit, innerhalb derer das Zeug begegnet.' In 
this chapter the word 'Werk' ('work') usually refers to the product achieved by working 
rather than to the process of working as such. We shall as a rule translate 'Verweisungs- 
ganzheit' as 'referential totality', though sometimes the clumsier 'totality of assignments' 
may convey the idea more effectively. (The older editions read 'deren' rather than 

ioo Being and Time I. 3 

production itself is a using of something for something. In the work there 
is also a reference or assignment to 'materials' : the work is dependent on 
[angewiesen auf] leather, thread, needles, and the like. Leather, more- 
over is produced from hides. These are taken from animals, which someone 
else has raised. Animals also occur within the world without having been 
raised at all; and, in a way, these entities still produce themselves even 
when they have been raised. So in the environment certain entities become 
accessible which are always ready-to-hand, but which, in themselves, do 
not need to be produced. Hammer, tongs, and needle, refer in themselves 
to steel, iron, metal, mineral, wood, in that they consist of these. In equip- 
ment that is used, 'Nature' is discovered along with it by that use — the 
'Nature' we find in natural products. 

Here, however, "Nature" is not to be understood as that which is just 
present-at-hand, nor as the power of Nature. The wood is a forest of timber, 
the mountain a quarry of rock; the river is water-power, the wind is wind 
'in the sails'. As the 'environment' is discovered, the 'Nature' thus dis- 
covered is encountered too. If its kind of Being as ready-to-hand is dis- 
regarded, this 'Nature' itself can be discovered and defined simply in its 
pure presence-at-hand. But when this happens, the Nature which 'stirs 
and strives', which assails us and enthralls us as landscape, remains 
hidden. The botanist's plants are not the flowers of the hedgerow; the 
'source' which the geographer establishes for a river is not the 'springhead 
in the dale'. 

The work produced refers not only to the "towards-which" of its 
usability and the "whereof" of which it consists: under simple craft 
conditions it also has an assignment to the person who is to use it or wear 
it. The work is cut to his figure; he 'is' there along with it as the work 
emerges. Even when goods are produced by the dozen, this constitutive 
assignment is by no means lacking; it is merely indefinite, and points to 
the random, the average. Thus along with the work, we encounter not 
only entities ready-to-hand but also entities with Dasein's kind of Being — 
entities for which, in their concern, the product becomes ready-to-hand; 
and together with these we encounter the world in which wearers and users 
live, which is at the same time ours. Any work with which one concerns 
oneself is ready-to-hand not only in the domestic world of the workshop 
but also in the public world. Along with the public world, the environing 
Nature [die Umweltnatur] is discovered and is accessible to everyone. In 
roads, streets, bridges, buildings, our concern discovers Nature as having 
some definite direction. A covered railway platform takes account of bad 
weather; an installation for public lighting takes account of the darkness, 
or rather of specific changes in the presence or absence of daylight — the 

I. 3 Being and Time 101 

'position of the sun'. In a clock, account is taken of some definite con- 
stellation in the world-system. When we look at the clock, we tacitly make 
use of the 'sun's position', in accordance with which the measurement of 
time gets regulated in the official astronomical manner. When we make 
use of the clock-equipment, which is proximally and inconspicuously 
ready-to-hand, the environing Nature is ready- to-hand along with it. Our 
concernful absorption in whatever work-world lies closest to us, has a 
function of discovering; and it is essential to this function that, depending 
upon the way in which we are absorbed, those entities within-the-world 
which are brought along [beigebrachte] in the work and with it (that is 
to say, in the assignments or references which are constitutive for it) 
remain discoverable in varying degrees of explicitness and with a varying 
circumspective penetration. 

The kind of Being which belongs to these entities is readiness-to-hand. 
But this characteristic is not to be understood as merely a way of taking 
them, as if we were talking such 'aspects' into the 'entities' which we 
proximally encounter, or as if some world-stuff which is proximally 
present-at-hand in itself 1 were 'given subjective colouring' in this way. 
Such an Interpretation would overlook the fact that in this case these 
entities would have to be understood and discovered beforehand as 
something purely present-at-hand, and must have priority and take the 
lead in the sequence of those dealings with the 'world' in which something 
is discovered and made one's own. But this already runs counter to the 
ontological meaning of cognition, which we have exhibited as a founded 
mode of Being-in-the-world. 2 To lay bare what is just present-at-hand 
and no more, cognition must first penetrate beyond what is ready-to-hand 
in our concern. Readiness-to-hand is the way in which entities as they are *in 
themselves' are defined ontologico-categorially. Yet only by reason of something 
present-at-hand, 'is there' anything ready-to-hand. Does it follow, how- 
ever, granting this thesis for the nonce, that readiness-to-hand is onto- 
logically founded upon presence-at-hand? 

But even if, as our ontological Interpretation proceeds further, readi- 
ness-to-hand should prove itself to be the kind of Being characteristic of 
those entities which are proximally discovered within-the-world, and 
even if its primordiality as compared with pure presence-at-hand can be 
demonstrated, have all these explications been of the slightest help to- 
wards understanding the phenomenon of the world ontologically ? In 
Interpreting these entities within-the-world, however, we have always 

1 . . ein zuniichst an sich vorhandener Weltstoff . . .' The earlier editions have . . 
zunachst ein an sich vorhandener Weltstoff . . A 
a See H. 61 above. 

102 Being and Time I. 3 

'presupposed* the world. Even if we join them together, we still do not get 
anything like the 'world' as their sum. If, then, we start with the Being of 
these entities, is there any avenue that will lead us to exhibiting the 
phenomenon of the world P 1 

If 16. How the Worldly Character of the Environment Announces itself in Entities 
Within-the-world 1 

The world itself is not an entity within-the-world ; and yet it is so 
determinative for such entities that only in so far as 'there is' a world can 
they be encountered and show themselves, in their Being, as entities 
which have been discovered. But in what way 'is there* a world? If 
Dasein is ontically constituted by Being-in-the- World, and if an under- 
standing of the Being of its Self belongs just as essentially to its Being, no 
matter how indefinite that understanding may be, then does not Dasein 
have an understanding of the world — a pre-ontological understanding, 
which indeed can and does get along without explicit ontological insights ? 
With those entities which are encountered within-the-world — that is to 
say, with their character as within-the-world — does not something like 
the world show itself for concernful Being-in-the-world ? Do we not have 
a pre-phenomenological glimpse of this phenomenon? Do we not always 
have such a glimpse of it, without having to take it as a theme for onto- 
logical Interpretation? Has Dasein itself, in the range of its concernful 
absorption in equipment ready-to-hand, a possibility of Being in which 
the worldhood of those entities within-the-world with which it is con- 
cerned is, in a certain way, lit up for it, along with those entities themselves? 

If such possibilities of Being for Dasein can be exhibited within its 
concernful dealings, then the way lies open for studying the phenomenon 
which is thus lit up, and for attempting to 'hold it at bay', as it were, and 
to interrogate it as to those structures which show themselves therein. 

To the everydayness of Being-in-the-world there belong certain modes 
of concern. These permit the entities with which we concern ourselves to 
be encountered in such a way that the worldly character of what is within- 
the-world comes to the fore. When we concern ourselves with something, 
the entities which are most closely ready-to-hand may be met as something 
unusable, not properly adapted for the use we have decided upon. The 
tool turns out to be damaged, or the material unsuitable. In each of these 
cases equipment is here, ready-to-hand. We discover its unusability, how- 
ever, not by looking at it and establishing its properties, but rather by the 
circumspection of the dealings in which we use it. When its unusability is 
thus discovered, equipment becomes conspicuous. This conspicuousness 
1 'Die am irmerweltluh Seienden sick meldende Weltmassigkeit der Umwelt. 9 

I. 3 Being and Time 103 

presents the ready-to-hand equipment as in a certain un-readiness-to- 
hand. But this implies that what cannot be used just lies there; it shows 
itself as an equipmental Thing which looks so and so, and which, in its 
readiness-to-hand as looking that way, has constantly been present-at- 
hand too. Pure presence-at-hand announces itself in such equipment, 
but only to withdraw to the readiness-to-hand of something with which 
one concerns oneself — that is to say, of the sort of thing we find when we 
put it back into repair. This presence-at-hand of something that cannot 
be used is still not devoid of all readiness-to-hand whatsoever; equipment 
which is present-at-hand in this way is still not just a Thing which occurs 
somewhere. The damage to the equipment is still not a mere alteration of 
a Thing — not a change of properties which just occurs in something 
present-at-hand . 

In our concernful dealings, however, we not only come up against 
unusable things within what is ready-to-hand already: we also find things 
which are missing— -which not only are not 'handy' ["handlich"] but 
are not 'to hand' ["zur Hand"] at all. Again, to miss something in 
this way amounts to coming across something un-ready-to-hand. When we 
notice what is un-ready-to-hand, that which is ready-to-hand enters 
the mode of obtrusiveness The more urgently [Je dringlicher] we need what 
is missing, and the more authentically it is encountered in its un-readiness- 
to-hand, all the more obtrusive ^[um so aufdringlicher] does that which 
is ready-to-hand become — so much so, indeed, that it seems to lose its 
character of readiness-to-hand. It reveals itself as something just present- 
at-hand and no more, which cannot be budged without the thing that is 
missing. The helpless way in which we stand before it is a deficient mode 
of concern, and as such it uncovers the Being-just-present-at-hand-and- 
no-more of something ready-to-hand. 

In our dealings with the world 1 of our concern, the un-ready-to-hand 
can be encountered not only in the sense of that which is unusable or 
simply missing, but as something un-ready-to-hand which is not missing 
at all and not unusable, but which 'stands in the way' of our concern. 
That to which our concern refuses to turn, that for which it has 'no time', 
is something un-ready-to-hand in the manner of what does not belong 
here, of what has not as yet been attended to. Anything which is un- 
ready-to-hand in this way is disturbing to us, and enables us to see 
the obstinacy of that with which we must concern ourselves in the 
first instance before we do anything else. With this obstinacy, the 
presence-at-hand of the ready-to-hand makes itself known in a new 

1 In the earlier editions 'Welt* appears with quotation marks. These are omitted in the 
later editions. 

104 Being and Time I. 3 

way as the Being of that which still lies before us and calls for our 
attending to it. 1 

The modes of conspicuousness, obtrusiveness, and obstinacy all have 
the function of bringing to the fore the characteristic of presence-at-hand 
in what is ready-to-hand. But the ready-to-hand is not thereby just 
observed and stared at as something present-at-hand ; the presence-at-hand 
which makes itself known is still bound up in the readiness-to-hand of 
equipment. Such equipment still does not veil itself in the guise of mere 
Things. It becomes 'equipment* in the sense of something which one 
would like to shove out of the way. 2 But in such a Tendency to shove 
things aside, the ready-to-hand shows itself as still ready-to-hand in its 
unswerving presence-at-hand. 

Now that we have suggested, however, that the ready-to-hand is thus 
encountered under modifications in which its presence-at-hand is revealed, 
how far does this clarify the phenomenon of the world? Even in analysing 
these modifications we have not gone beyond the Being of what is within- 
the-world, and we have come no closer to the world-phenomenon than 
before. But though we have not as yet grasped it, we have brought our- 
selves to a point where we can bring it into view. 

In conspicuousness, obtrusiveness, and obstinacy, that which is ready- 
to-hand loses its readiness-to-hand in a certain way. But in our dealings 
with what is ready-to-hand, this readiness-to-hand is itself understood, 
though not thematically. It does not vanish simply, but takes its farewell, 
as it were, in the conspicuousness of the unusable. Readiness-to-hand 
still shows itself, and it is precisely here that the worldly character of the 
ready-to-hand shows itself too. 

1 Heidegger's distinction between 'conspicuousness' (Auffalligkeit*) 'obtrusiveness* 
('Aufdringlichkeit'), and 'obstinacy* ('Aufsassigkeit') is hard to present unambiguously in 
translation. He seems to have in mind three rather similar situations. In each of these we 
are confronted by a number of articles which are ready- to-hand. In the first situation we 
wish to use one of these articles for some purpose, but we find that it cannot be used for 
that purpose. It then becomes 'conspicuous* or 'striking*, and in a way 'un-ready- to-hand* 
— in that we are not able to use it. In the second situation we may have precisely the same 
articles before us, but we want one which is not there. In this case the missing article too 
is 'un-ready-to-hand', but in another way — in that it is not there to be used. This is 
annoying, and the articles which are still ready-to-hand before us, thrust themselves upon 
us in such a way that they become 'obtrusive* or even 'obnoxious*. In the third situation, 
some of the articles which are ready-to-hand before us are experienced as obstacles to the 
achievement of some purpose; as obstacles they are 'obstinate*, 'recalcitrant', 'refractory', 
and we have to attend to them or dispose of them in some way before we can finish what 
we want to do. Here again the obstinate objects are un-ready-to-hand, but simply in the 
way of being obstinate. 

In all three situations the articles which are ready-to-hand for us tend to lose their 
readiness- to-hand in one way or another and reveal their presence-at-hand; only in the 
second situation, however, do we encounter them as 'just present-at-hand and no more' 
('nur noch Vorhandenes'). 

2 Here 'Zeug* is used in the pejorative sense of 'stuff'. See our note 1, p. 97 on H. 68. 

I. 3 Being and Time 105 

The structure of the Being of what is ready-to-hand as equipment is 
determined by references or assignments. In a peculiar and obvious 
manner, the 'Things' which are closest to us are 'in themselves' ["An- 
sich"] ; and they are encountered as 'in themselves' in the concern which 
makes use of them without noticing them explicitly — the concern which 
can come up against something unusable. When equipment cannot be 
used, this implies that the constitutive assignment of the "in-order-to" 
to a "towards-this" has been disturbed. The assignments themselves are 
not observed; they are rather 'there' when we concernfully submit our- 
selves to them [Sichstellen unter sie]. But when an assignment has been 
disturbed— when something is unusable for some purpose — then the 
assignment becomes explicit. Even now, of course, it has not become 
explicit as an ontological structure; but it has become explicit 
ontically for the circumspection which comes up against the damaging of 
the tool. When an assignment to some particular "towards-this" has been 
thus circumspectively aroused, we catch sight of the "towards-this" itself, 
and along with it everything connected with the work — the whole 'work- 
shop' — as that wherein concern always dwells. The context of equipment 
is lit up, not as something never seen before, but as a totality constantly 
sighted beforehand in circumspection. With this totality, however, the 
world announces itself. 

Similarly, when something ready-to-hand is found missing, though its 
everyday presence [Zugegensein] has been so obvious that we have never 
taken any notice of it, this makes a break in those referential contexts 
which circumspection discovers. Our circumspection comes up against 
emptiness, and now sees for the first time what the missing article was 
ready-to-hand with, and what it was ready- to-hand for. The environment 
announces itself afresh. What is thus lit up is not itself just one thing ready- 
to-hand among others; still less is it something present-at-hand upon 
which equipment ready- to-hand is somehow founded: it is in the 
'there' before anyone has observed or ascertained it. It is itself 
inaccessible to circumspection, so far as circumspection is always directed 
towards entities; but in each case it has already been disclosed for cir- 
cumspection. 'Disclose' and 'disclosedness' will be used as technical terms 
in the passages that follow, and shall signify 'to lay open' and 'the charac- 
ter of having been laid open.' Thus 'to disclose' never means anything 
like 'to obtain indirectly by inference'. 1 

1 In ordinary German usage, the verb 'erschliessen* may mean not only to 'disclose^ 
but also — in certain constructions — to 'infer' or 'conclude' in the sense in which one infers 
a conclusion from premisses. Heidegger is deliberately ruling out this latter interpretation, 
though on a very few occasions he may use the word in this sense. He explains his own 
meaning by the cognate verb 'aufschliessen', to 'lay open'. To say that something has 
been 'disclosed' or 'laid open' in Heidegger's sense, does not mean that one has any 

lo6 Being and Time I. 3 

That the world does not 'consist' of the ready-to-hand shows itself in 
the fact (among others) that whenever the world is lit up in the modes of 
concern which we have been Interpreting, the ready-to-hand becomes 
deprived of its worldhood so that Being-just-present-at-hand comes to the 
fore. If, in our everyday concern with the Environment', it is to be possible 
for equipment ready-to-hand to be encountered in its 'Being-in-itself ' 
[in seinem "An-sich-sein"], then those assignments and referential 
totalities in which our circumspection 'is absorbed' cannot become a 
theme for that circumspection any more than they can for grasping 
things 'thematically' but non-circumspectively. If it is to be possible for 
the ready-to-hand not to emerge from its inconspicuousness, the world 
must not announce itself. And it is in this that the Being-in-itself of entities 
which are ready- to-hand has its phenomenal structure constituted. 

In such privative expressions as "inconspicuousness", "unobtrusive- 
ness", and "non-obstinacy", what we have in view is a positive pheno- 
menal character of the Being of that which is proximally ready- to-hand. 
With these negative prefixes we have in view the character of the ready- 
to-hand as "holding itself in"; this is what we have our eye upon in the 
"Being-in-itself" of something, 1 though 'proximally' we ascribe it to the 
present-at-hand — to the present-at-hand as that which can be themati- 
cally ascertained. As long as we take our orientation primarily and ex- 
clusively from the present-at-hand, the 'in-itself ' can by no means be 
ontologically clarified. If, however, this talk about the 'in-itself' has any 
ontological importance, some interpretation must be called for. This 
"in-itself" of Being is something which gets invoked with considerable 
emphasis, mostly in an ontical way, and rightly so from a phenomenal 
standpoint. But if some ontological assertion is supposed to be given when 
this is ontically invoked, its claims are not fulfilled by such a procedure. As 
the foregoing analysis has already made clear, only on the basis of the 
phenomenon of the world can the Being-in-itself of entities within-the- 
world be grasped ontologically. 

But if the world can, in a way, be lit up, it must assuredly be disclosed. 
And it has already been disclosed beforehand whenever what is ready-to- 
hand within-the-world is accessible for circumspective concern. The world 
is therefore something 'wherein' Dasein as an entity already was, and if in 

detailed awareness of the contents which are thus 'disclosed*, but rather that they have 
been laid open to us as implicit in what is given, so that they may be made explicit to 
our awareness by further analysis or crimination of the given, rather than by any 
inference from it. 

1 'Diese "Un" meinen den Charakter des Ansichhaltens des Zuhandenen, das, was wir 
nut dem An-sich-sein im Auge haben . . .» The point seems to be that when we speak of 
something as it is in itself" or "in its own right" \ we think of it as 'holding itself in' or 
Holding itself back —not 'stepping forth' or doing something 'out of character'. 

I. 3 Being and Time 107 

any manner it explicitly comes away from anything, it can never do more 
than come back to the world. 

Being-in-the-world, according to our Interpretation hitherto, amounts 
to a non-thematic circumspective absorption in references or assignments 
constitutive for the readiness-to-hand of a totality of equipment. Any 
concern is already as it is, because of some familiarity with the world. 
In this familiarity Dasein can lose itself in what it encounters within-the- 
world and be fascinated with it. What is it that Dasein is familiar with? 
Why can the worldly character of what is within-the-world be lit up ? 
The presence-at-hand 1 of entities is thrust to the fore by the possible 
breaks in that referential totality in which circumspection 'operates'; 
how are we to get a closer understanding of this totality? 

These questions are aimed at working out both the phenomenon and 
the problems of worldhood, and they call for an inquiry into the inter- 
connections with which certain structures are built up. To answer them 
we must analyse these structures more concretely. 

If 77. Reference and Signs 

In our provisional Interpretation of that structure of Being which 
belongs to the ready-to-hand (to 'equipment'), the phenomenon of refer- 
ence or assignment became visible ; but we merely gave an indication of 
it, and in so sketchy a form that we at once stressed the necessity of 
uncovering it with regard to its ontological origin. 2 It became plain, 
moreover, that assignments and referential totalities could in some sense 
become constitutive for worldhood itself. Hitherto we have seen the world 
lit up only in and for certain definite ways in which we concern ourselves 
environmentally with the ready-to-hand, and indeed it has been lit up 
only with the readiness-to-hand of that concern. So the further we proceed 
in understanding the Being of entities within-the-world, the broader and 
firmer becomes the phenomenal basis on which the world-phenomenon 
may be laid bare. 

We shall again take as our point of departure the Being of the ready- 
to-hand, but this time with the purpose of grasping the phenomenon of 
reference or assignment itself more precisely. We shall accordingly attempt an 
ontological analysis of a kind of equipment in which one may come across 
such 'references' in more senses than one. We come across 'equipment' 
in signs. The word "sign" designates many kinds of things: not only may it 
stand for different kinds of signs, but Being-a-sign-for can itself be 

1 Here the older editions have 'Zuhandenheit* where the newer ones have 'Vorhan- 
* Cf. H. 68 above. 

108 Being and Time I. 3 

formalized as a universal kind of relation, so that the sign-structure itself 
provides an ontological clue for 'characterizing' any entity whatsoever. 

But signs, in the first instance, are themselves items of equipment whose 
specific character as equipment consists in showing or indicating, 1 We find 
such signs in signposts, boundary-stones, the ball for the mariner's storm- 
warning, signals, banners, signs of mourning, and the like. Indicating can 
be defined as a 'kind' of referring. Referring is, if we take it as formally 
as possible, a relating. But relation does not function as a genus for 'kinds' 
or 'species' of references which may somehow become differentiated as 
sign, symbol, expression, or signification. A relation is something quite 
formal which may be read off directly by way of 'formalization' from any 
kind of context, whatever its subject-matter or its way of Being. 11 

Every reference is a relation, but not every relation is a reference. 
Every 'indication' is a reference, but not every referring is an indicating. 
This implies at the same time that every 'indication' is a relation, but not 
every relation is an indicating. The formally general character of relation 
is thus brought to light. If we are to investigate such phenomena as refer- 
ences, signs, or even significations, nothing is to be gained by characteriz- 
ing them as relations. Indeed we shall eventually have to show that 
'relations' themselves, because of their formally general character, have 
their ontological source in a reference. 

If the present analysis is to be confined to the Interpretation of the sign 
as distinct from the phenomenon of reference, then even within this 
limitation we cannot properly investigate the full multiplicity of possible 
signs. Among signs there are symptoms [Anzeichen], warning signals, 
signs of things that have happened already [Ruckzeichen], signs to mark 
something, signs by which things are recognized; these have different 
ways of indicating, regardless of what may be serving as such a sign. 
From such 'signs' we must distinguish traces, residues, commemorative 
monuments, documents, testimony, symbols, expressions, appearances, 
significations. These phenomena can easily be formalized because of their 
formal relational character; we find it especially tempting nowadays to 
take such a 'relation' as a clue for subjecting every entity to a kind of 
'Interpretation' which always 'fits' because at bottom it says nothing, no 
more than the facile schema of content and form. 

As an example of a sign we have chosen one which we shall use again 
in a later analysis, though in another regard. Motor cars are some- 
times fitted up with an adjustable red arrow, whose position indicates 

1 \ . . deren spezifischer Zeugcharakter im Zeigen besteht.' While we have often used 
'show' and 'indicate' to translate 'zeigen' and 'anzeigen' respectively, in the remainder of 
this section it seems more appropriate to translate 'zeigen' by 'indicate', or to resort to 
hendiadys as in the present passage. 

I. 3 Being and Time 109 

the direction the vehicle will take — at an intersection, for instance. The 
position of the arrow is controlled by the driver. This sign is an item of 
equipment which is ready-to-hand for the driver in his concern with 
driving, and not for him alone: those who are not travelling with him — 
and they in particular — also make use of it, either by giving way on the 
proper side or by stopping. This sign is ready-to-hand within-the-world 
in the whole equipment-context of vehicles and traffic regulations. It is 
equipment for indicating, and as equipment, it is constituted by reference 
or assignment. It has the character of the "in-order- to", its own definite 
serviceability; it is for indicating. 1 This indicating which the sign performs 
can be taken as a kind of 'referring'. But here we must notice that this 
'referring' as indicating is not the ontological structure of the sign as 

Instead, 'referring' as indicating is grounded in the Being-structure of 
equipment, in serviceability for. . . . But an entity may have serviceability 
without thereby becoming a sign. As equipment, a 'hammer' too is 
constituted by a serviceability, but this does not make it a sign. Indicating, 
as a 'reference', is a way in which the "towards-which" of a service- 
ability becomes ontically concrete; it determines an item of equipment 
as for this "towards-which" [und bestimmt ein Zeug zu diesem]. On the 
other hand, the kind of reference we get in 'serviceability-for', is an 
ontologico-categorial attribute of equipment as equipment. That the 
"towards-which" of serviceability should acquire its concreteness in 
indicating, is an accident of its equipment-constitution as such. In this 
example of a sign, the difference between the reference of serviceability 
and the reference of indicating becomes visible in a rough and ready 
fashion. These are so far from coinciding that only when they are united 
does the concreteness of a definite kind of equipment become possible. 
Now it is certain that indicating differs in principle from reference as a 
constitutive state of equipment; it is just as incontestable that the sign in 
its turn is related in a peculiar and even distinctive way to the kind of 
Being which belongs to whatever equipmental totality may be ready-to- 
hand in the environment, and to its worldly character. In our concernful 

1 *Es hat den Charakter des Um-zu, seine bestimmte Dienlichkeit, es ist zum Zeigen.' 
The verb 'dienen', is often followed by an infinitive construction introduced by the 
preposition 'zu'. Similarly the English 'serve' can be followed by an infinitive in such 
expressions as 'it serves to indicate . . .' In Heidegger's German the 'zu* construction is 
carried over to the noun 'Dienlichkeit'; the corresponding noun 'serviceability', however, 
is not normally followed by an infinitive, but rather by an expression introduced by 'for' 
e.g. 'serviceability for indicating . . .' Since the preposition 'zu' plays an important role in 
this section and the next, it would be desirable to provide a uniform translation for it. We 
shall, however, translate it as 'for' in such expressions as 'Dienlichkeit zu', but as 'towards' 
in such expressions as 'Wozu' ('towards-which') and 'Dazu' ('towards- this'), retaining 
'in-order- to* for 'Um-zu'. 

no Being and Time I. 3 

dealings, equipment for indicating [Zeig-zeug] gets used in a very special 
way. But simply to establish this Fact is ontologically insufficient. The 
basis and the meaning of this special status must be clarified. 

What do we mean when we say that a sign "indicates" ? We can answer 
this only by determining what kind of dealing is appropriate with equip- 
ment for indicating. And we must do this in such a way that the readiness- 
to-hand of that equipment can be genuinely grasped. What is the appro- 
priate way of having- to-do with signs ? Going back to our example of the 
arrow, we must say that the kind of behaving (Being) which corresponds 
to the sign we encounter, is either to 'give way' or to 'stand still' vis-d-vis 
the car with the arrow. Giving way, as taking a direction, belongs essen- 
tially to Dasein's Being-in-the-world. Dasein is always somehow directed 
[ausgerichtet] and on its way; standing and waiting are only limiting cases 
of this directional 'on-its-way'. The sign addresses itself to a Being-in-the- 
world which is specifically 'spatial'. The sign is not authentically 'grasped' 
["erfasst"] if we just stare at it and identify it as an indicator-Thing which 
occurs. Even if we turn our glance in the direction which the arrow indic- 
ates, and look at something present-at-hand in the region indicated, even 
then the sign is not authentically encountered. Such a sign addresses 
itself ta the circumspection of our concernful dealings, and it does so in 
such a way that the circumspection which goes along with it, following 
where it points, brings into an explicit 'survey' whatever aroundness the 
environment may have at the time. This circumspective survey does not 
grasp the ready-to-hand ; what it achieves is rather an orientation within 
our environment. There is also another way in which we can experience 
equipment: we may encounter the arrow simply as equipment which 
belongs to the car. We can do this without discovering what character it 
specifically has as equipment : what the arrow is to indicate and how it is 
to do so, may remain completely undetermined; yet what we are encoun- 
tering is not a mere Thing. The experiencing of a Thing requires a definite- 
ness of its own [ihre eigene Bestimmtheit], and must be contrasted with 
coming across a manifold of equipment, which may often be quite 
indefinite, even when one comes across it as especially close. 

Signs of the kind we have described let what is ready-to-hand be 
encountered; more precisely, they let some context of it become accessible 
in such a way that our concernful dealings take on an orientation and hold 
it secure. A sign is not a Thing which stands to another Thing in the 
relationship of indicating; it is rather an item of equipment which explicitly 
raises a totality of equipment into our circumspection so that together with it the 
worldly character of the ready-to-hand announces itself In a symptom or a warning- 
signal, 'what is coming' 'indicates itself, but not in the sense of something 

I. 3 Being and Time 1 1 1 

merely occurring, which comes as an addition to what is already present- 
at-hand; 'what is coming' is the sort of thing which we are ready for, or 
which we 'weren't ready for' if we have been attending to something else. 1 
In signs of something that has happened already, what has come to pass 
and run its course becomes circumspectively accessible. A sign to mark 
something indicates what one is 'at' at any time. Signs always indicate 
primarily 'wherein' one lives, where one's concern dwells, what sort of 
involvement there is with something. 2 

The peculiar character of signs as equipment becomes especially clear 
in 'establishing a sign' ["Zeichenstiftung"]. This activity is performed in 
a circumspective fore-sight [Vorsicht] out of which it arises, and which 
requires that it be possible for one's particular environment to announce 
itself for circumspection at any time by means of something ready-to- 
hand, and that this possibility should itself be ready-to-hand. But the 
Being of what is most closely ready-to-hand within-the-world possesses 
the character of holding-itself-in and not emerging, which we have 
described above, 3 Accordingly our circumspective dealings in the environ- 
ment require some equipment ready-to-hand which in its character as 
equipment takes over the 'work' of letting something ready-to-hand become 
conspicuous. So when such equipment (signs) gets produced, itsconspicuous- 
ness must be kept in mind. But even when signs are thus conspicuous, one 
does not let them be present-at-hand at random; they get 'set up' 
["angebracht"] in a definite way with a view towards easy accessibility. 

In establishing a sign, however, one does not necessarily have to pro- 
duce equipment which is not yet ready-to-hand at all. Signs also arise 
when one takes as a sign [Zum-^eichen-nekmen] something that is ready-to- 
hand already. In this mode, signs "get established" in a sense which is 
even more primordial. In indicating, a ready-to-hand equipment totality, 
and even the environment in general, can be provided with an availability 
which is circumspectively oriented ; and not only this : establishing a sign 
can, above all, reveal. What gets taken as a sign becomes accessible only 
through its readiness- to-hand. If, for instance, the south wind 'is accepted' 
["gilt"] by the farmer as a sign of rain, then this 'acceptance' ["Geltung"] 
— or the 'value' with which the entity is 'invested' — is not a sort of bonus 
over and above what is already present-at-hand in itself— viz, the flow of 
air in a definite geographical direction. The south wind may be meteoro- 
logically accessible as something which just occurs ; but it is never present- 

1 . . das "was kommt" ist solches, darauf wir uns gefasst machen, bzw. "nicht gefasst 
waren", sofern wir uns mit anderem befassten.' 

2 'Das Merkzeichen zcigt, "woran" man jeweils ist. Die Zeichen zeigen primar immer 
das, "worin" man lebt, wobei das Besorgen sich aufhalt, welche Bewandtnis es damit 
hat.' On 'Bewandtnis', see note 2, p. 1 15 H. 84 below. 

8 See H. 75-76 above. 

1 12 Being and Time I. 3 

at-hand proximally in such a way as this, only occasionally taking over the 
function of a warning signal. On the contrary, only by the circumspection 
with which one takes account of things in farming, is the south wind 
discovered in its Being. 

But, one will protest, that which gets taken as a sign must first have 
become accessible in itself and been apprehended before the sign gets 
established. Certainly it must in any case be such that in some way we 
can come across it. The question simply remains as to how entities are dis- 
covered in this previous encountering, whether as mere Things which 
occur, or rather as equipment which has not been understood — as some- 
thing ready-to-hand with which we have hitherto not known 'how to 
begin', and which has accordingly kept itself veiled from the purview of 
circumspection. And here again, when the equipmental characters of the ready-to- 
hand are still circumspectively undiscovered, they are not to be Interpreted as bare 
Thinghood presented for an apprehension of what is just present-at-kand and no 

The Being-ready-to-hand of signs in our everyday dealings, and the 
conspicuousness which belongs to signs and which may be produced for 
various purposes and in various ways, do not merely serve to document 
the inconspicuousness constitutive for what is most closely ready-to-hand ; 
the sign itself gets its conspicuousness from the inconspicuousness of the 
equipmental totality, which is ready-to-hand and 'obvious* in its everyday- 
ness. The knot which one ties in a handkerchief [der bekannte "Knopf im 
Taschentuch"] as a sign to mark something is an example of this. What 
such a sign is to indicate is always something with which one has to 
concern oneself in one's everyday circumspection. Such a sign can 
indicate many things, and things of the most various kinds. The wider 
the extent to which it can indicate, the narrower its intelligibility and its 
usefulness. Not only is it, for the most part, ready-to-hand as a sign only 
for the person who 'establishes' it, but it can even become inaccessible to 
him, so that another sign is needed if the first is to be used circumspec- 
tively at all. So when the knot cannot be used as a sign, it does not lose 
its sign-character, but it acquires the disturbing obtrusiveness of something 
most closely ready- to-hand. 

One might be tempted to cite the abundant use of 'signs' in primitive 
Dasein, as in fetishism and magic, to illustrate the remarkable role 
which they play in everyday concern when it comes to our understanding 
of the world. Certainly the establishment of signs which underlies this 
way of using them is not performed with any theoretical aim or in the 
course of theoretical speculation. This way of using them always remains 
completely within a Being-in-the-world which is 'immediate'. But on 

1.3 Being and Time 113 

closer inspection it becomes plain that to interpret fetishism and 
magic by taking our clue from the idea of signs in general, is not enough 
to enable us to grasp the kind of 'Being-ready-to-hand' which belongs to 
entities encountered in the primitive world. With regard to the sign- 
phenomenon, the following Interpretation may be given: for primitive 
man, the sign coincides with that which is indicated. Not only can the 
sign represent this in the sense of serving as a substitute for what it indic- 
ates, but it can do so in such a way that the sign itself always is what it 
indicates. This remarkable coinciding does not mean, however, that the 
sign-Thing has already undergone a certain 'Objectification' — that it has 
been experienced as a mere Thing and misplaced into the same realm of 
Being of the present-at-hand as what it indicates. This 'coinciding' is not 
an identification of things which have hitherto been isolated from each 
other : it consists rather in the fact that the sign has not as yet become free 
from that of which it is a sign. Such a use of signs is still absorbed com- 
pletely in Being-towards what is indicated, so that a sign as such cannot 
detach itself at all. This coinciding is based not on a prior Objectification 
but on the fact that such Objectification is completely lacking. This means, 
however, that signs are not discovered as equipment at all — that ultimately 
what is 'ready-to-hand' within-the-world just does not have the kind of 
Being that belongs to equipment. Perhaps even readiness-to-hand and 
equipment have nothing to contribute [nichts auszurichten] as ontological 
clues in Interpreting the primitive world; and certainly the ontology of 
Thinghood does even less. But if an understanding of Being is constitutive 
for primitive Dasein and for the primitive world in general, then it is all 
the more urgent to work out the 'formal' idea of worldhood — or at least 
the idea of a phenomenon modifiable in such a way that all ontological 
assertions to the effect that in a given phenomenal context something is 
not yet such-and-such or no longer such-and-such, may acquire a positive 
phenomenal meaning in terms of what it is not. 1 

The foregoing Interpretation of the sign should merely provide phe- 
nomenal support for our characterization of references or assignments. 
The relation between sign and reference is threefold. 1. Indicating, as a 
way whereby the "towards-which" of a serviceability can become con- 
crete, is founded upon the equipment-structure as such, upon the "in- 
order-to" (assignment). 2. The indicating which the sign does is an 
equipmental character of something ready-to-hand, and as such it belongs 
to a totality of equipment, to a context of assignments or references. 
3. The sign is not only ready-to-hand with other equipment, but in its 
readiness-to-hand the environment becomes in each case explicitly 
1 . . aus dem, was es nicht ist.* The older editions write 'was' for 'was'. 

114 Being and Time I. 3 

accessible for circumspection. A sign is something ontically ready-to-hand, 
which functions both as this definite equipment and as something indicative of 
[was . . . anzeigt] the ontological structure of readiness-to-hand, of referential 
totalities, and of worldhood. Here is rooted the special status of the sign as 
something ready-to-hand in that environment with which we concern 
ourselves circumspectively. Thus the reference or the assignment itself 
cannot be conceived as a sign of it is to serve ontologically as the founda- 
tion upon which signs are based. Reference is not an ontical characteristic 
of something ready-to-hand, when it is rather that by which readiness- 
to-hand itself is constituted. 

In what sense, then, is reference 'presupposed' ontologically in the 
ready-to-hand, and to what extent is it, as such an ontological foundation, 
at the same time constitutive for worldhood in general ? 

1f 18. Involvement and Significance; the Worldhood of the World 

The ready-to-hand is encountered within- the-world. The Being of this 
entity, readiness- to-hand, thus stands in some ontological relationship 
towards the world and towards worldhood. In anything ready-to-hand 
the world is always 'there'. Whenever we encounter anything, the world 
has already been previously discovered, though not thematically. But it 
can also be lit up in certain ways of dealing with our environment. The 
world is that in terms of which the ready-to-hand is ready-to-hand. How 
can the world let the ready-to-hand be encountered? Our analysis 
hitherto has shown that what we encounter within-the-world has, in its 
very Being, been freed 1 for our concernful circumspection, for taking 
account. What does this previous freeing amount to, and how is this to 
be understood as an ontologically distinctive feature of the world ? What 
problems does the question of the worldhood of the world lay before us ? 

We have indicated that the state which is constitutive for the ready-to- 
hand as equipment is one of reference or assignment. How can entities 
with this kind of Being be freed by the world with regard to their Being ? 
Why are these the first entities to be encountered ? As definite kinds of 
references we have mentioned serviceability-for-, detrimentality [Abtrag- 
lichkeit], usability, and the like. The "towards-which" [das Wozu] of a 
serviceability and the "for-which" [das Wofur] of a usability prescribed 
the ways in which such a reference or assignment can become concrete. 
But the 'indicating 5 of the sign and the 'hammering' of the hammer are 
not properties of entities. Indeed, they are not properties at all, if the 
ontological structure designated by the term 'property' is that of some 

1 'freigegeben'. The idea seems to be that what we encounter has, as it were, been 
released, set free, given its freedom, or given free rein, so that our circumspection can take 
account of it. 

I. 3 Being and Time 115 

definite character which it is possible for Things to possess [einer mogli- 
chen Bestimmtheit von Dingen]. Anything ready-to-hand is, at the worst, 
appropriate for some purposes and inappropriate for others; and its 
'properties' are, as it were, still bound up in these ways in which it is 
appropriate or inappropriate, 1 just as presence-at-hand, as a possible 
kind of Being for something ready- to-hand, is bound up in readiness-to- 
hand. Serviceability too, however, as a constitutive state of equipment 
(and serviceability is a reference), is not an appropriateness of some 
entity; it is rather the condition (so far as Being is in question) which 
makes it possible for the character of such an entity to be defined by its 
appropriatenesses. But what, then, is "reference" or "assignment" to 
mean? To say that the Being of the ready-to-hand has the structure of 
assignment or reference means that it has in itself the character of having 
been assigned or referred [Verwiesenheit]. An entity is discovered when it has 
been assigned or referred to something, and referred as that entity which 
it is. With any such entity there is an involvement which it has in some- 
:hing. 2 The character of Being which belongs to the ready- to-hand is 
ust such an involvement. If something has an involvement, this implies 
etting it be involved in something. The relationship of the "with . . . in . . ." 
hall be indicated by the term "assignment" or "reference". 3 

1 The words 'property* and 'appropriateness* reflect the etymological connection of 
[eidegger's 'Eigenschaft' and "Geeignetheit'. 

2 'Es hat mit ihm hex etwas sein Bewenden.' The terms 'Bewenden' and 'Bewandtnis' are 
mong the most difficult for the translator. Their root meaning has to do with the way 
imething is already 'turning' when one lets it 'go its own way*, 'run its course*, follow 
s 'bent* or 'tendency*, or finish 'what it is about', 'what it is up to* or 'what it is 
wolved in'. The German expressions, however, have no simple English equivalents, 
ut are restricted to a rather special group of idioms such as the following, which we 
ave taken from Wildhagen and Heraucourt's admirable English-German, German-English 
dictionary (Volume II, Wiesbaden 1953): 'es dabei bewenden lassen* — 'to leave it at 
lat, to let it go at that, to let it rest there* ; 'und dabei hatte es sein Bewenden* — 'and 
aere the matter ended*; 'dabei muss es sein Bewenden haben* — 'there the matter must 
est' — 'that must suffice'; 'die Sache hat eine ganz andere Bewandtnis* — 'the case is 
[uite different*; 'damit hat es seine besondere Bewandtnis* — 'there is something peculiar 
tbout it; thereby hangs a tale*; 'damit hat est folgende Bewandtnis' — 'the matter 
s as follows'. 

We have tried to render both 'Bewenden' and 'Bewandtnis' by expressions including 
either 'involve' or 'involvement'. But the contexts into which these words can easily be 
fitted in ordinary English do not correspond very well to those which are possible for 
'Bewenden* and 'Bewandtnis*. Our task is further complicated by the emphasis which 
Heidegger gives to the prepositions 'mit' and 'bei' in connection with ^Bewenden' and 
'Bewandtnis'. In passages such as the present one, it would be more idiomatic to leave 
these prepositions untranslated and simply write: 'Any such entity is involved in doing 
something', or 'Any such entity is involved in some activity'. But 'mit' and 'bei* receive so 
much attention in this connection that in contexts such as this we shall sometimes translate 
them as 'with' and 'in', though elsewhere we shall handle *bei' very differently. (The 
reader must bear in mind that the kind of 'involvement] with which we are here concerned 
is always an involvement in some activity, which one is performing, not an involvement 
in circumstances in which one is 'caught' or 'entangled'.) 

3 'In Bewandtnis liegt: bewenden lassen mit etwas bei etwas. Der Bezug des "mit 

n6 Being and Time I. 3 

When an entity within-the-world has already been proximally freed 
for its Being, that Being is its "involvement". With any such entity as 
entity, there is some involvement. The fact that it has such an involvement 
is ontologically definitive for the Being of such an entity, and is not an 
ontical assertion about it. That in which it is involved is the "towards- 
which" of serviceability, and the "for-which" of usability. 1 With the 
"towards-which" of serviceability there can again be an involvement: 
with this thing, for instance, which is ready-to-hand, and which we 
accordingly call a "hammer", there is an involvement in hammering; 
with hammering, there is an involvement in making something fast; 
with making something fast, there is an involvement in protection against 
bad weather; and this protection 'is* for the sake of [um-willen] providing 
shelter for Dasein — that is to say, for the sake of a possibility of Dasein's 
Being. Whenever something ready-to-hand has an involvement with it, 
what involvement this is, has in each case been outlined in advance in 
terms of the totality of such involvements. In a workshop, for example, the 
totality of involvements which is constitutive for the ready-to-hand in its 
readiness- to-hand, is 'earlier' than any single item of equipment; so too 
for the farmstead with all its utensils and outlying lands. But the totality 
of involvements itself goes back ultimately to a "towards-which" in 
which there is no further involvement: this "towards-which" is not an 
entity with the kind of Being that belongs to what is ready-to-hand within 
a world; it is rather an entity whose Being is defined as Being-in-the- 
world, and to whose state of Being, worldhood itself belongs. This primary 
"towards-which" is not just another "towards-this" as something in which 
an involvement is possible. The primary 'towards-which* is a "for-the- 
sake-of-which". 2 But the 'for-the-sake-of * always pertains to the Being of 

. . . bei . . ." soli durch den Terminus Verweisung angezeigt werden.' Here the point seems 
to be that if something has an 'involvement* in the sense of 'Bewandtnis* (or rather, if 
there is such an involvement 'with' it), the thing which has this involvement has been 
'assigned* or 'referred' for a certain activity or purpose 'in* which it may be said to be 

1 'Bewandtnis ist das Sein des innerweltlichen Seienden, darauf es je schon zunachst 
freigegeben ist. Mit ihm als Seiendem hat es je eine Bewandtnis. Dieses, dass es eine 
Bewandtnis hat, ist die ontologische Bestimmung des Seins dieses Seienden, nicht eine 
ontische Aussage uber das Seiende. Das Wobei es die Bewandtnis hat, ist das Wozu der 
Dienlichkeit, das Wofur der Verwendbarkeit.* This passage and those which follow are 
hard to translate because Heidegger is using three carefully differentiated prepositions 
('zu', 'fur', and 'auf ') where English idiom needs only *for\ We can say that something is 
serviceable, usable, or applicable 'for' a purpose, and that it may be freed or given free 
rein 'for' some kind of activity. In German, however, it will be said to have 'Dienlichkeit 
zu. . .*, 'Verwendbarkeit/ur . . .'; and it will be 'freigegeben auf. . In the remainder of 
this section we shall use 'for* both for 'fiir' and for 'auf as they occur in these expressions; 
we shall, however, continue to use 'towards-which' for the 'Wozu* of 'Dienlichkeit*. See 
note 1, p. 109, H. 78 above. 

* 'Dieses primare Wozu ist kein Dazu als mogliches Wobei einer Bewandtnis. Das 
primare "Wozu" ist ein Worum-wilien.' 

I. 3 Being and Time ny 

Dasein, for which, in its Being, that very Being is essentially an issue. We 
have thus indicated the interconnection by which the structure of an 
involvement leads to Dasein's very Being as the sole authentic "for-the- 
sake-of-which" ; for the present, however, we shall pursue this no further. 
'Letting something be involved' must first be clarified enough to give the 
phenomenon of worldhood the kind of definiteness which makes it possible 
to formulate any problems about it. 

Ontically, "letting something be involved" signifies that within our 
factical concern we let something ready-to-hand be so-and-so as it is 
already and in order that it be such. 1 The way we take this ontical sense of 
'letting be' is, in principle, ontological. And therewith we Interpret the 
meaning of previously freeing what is proximally ready-to-hand within- 
the-world. Previously letting something 'be' does not mean that we must 
first bring it into its Being and produce it; it means rather that something 
which is already an 'entity' must be discovered in its readiness- to-hand, 
and that we must thus let the entity which has this Being be encountered. 
This 6 a priori 9 letting-something-be-involved is the condition for the 
possibility of encountering anything ready- to-hand, so that Dasein, in its 
ontical dealings with the entity thus encountered, can thereby let it be 
involved in the ontical sense. 2 On the other hand, if letting something 
be involved is understood ontologically, what is then pertinent is the 
freeing of everything ready- to-hand as ready- to-hand, no matter whether, 
taken ontically, it is involved thereby, or whether it is rather an entity of 
precisely such a sort that ontically it is not involved thereby. Such entities 
are, proximally and for the most part, those with which we concern 
ourselves when we do not let them 'be' as we have discovered that they 
are, but work upon them, make improvements in them, or smash them 
to pieces. 

When we speak of having already let something be involved, so that it 
has been freed for that involvement, we are using a perfect tense a priori 
which characterizes the kind of Being belonging to Dasein itself 3 Letting 
an entity be involved, if we understand this ontologically, consists in 
previously freeing it for [auf] its readiness-to-hand within the environment. 
When we let something be involved, it must be involved in something; 
and in terms of this "in-which", the "with-which" of this involvement 

1 'Bewendenlassen bedeutet ontisch; innerhalb eines faktischen Besorgens ein Zuhan- 
denes so und so sein lassen, wie es nunmehr ist und damit es so ist.' 

2 '. . . es im ontischen Sinne dabei bewenden lassen kann.' While we have translated 
'dabei* simply as 'thereby* in this context, it is possible that it should have been construed 
rather as an instance of the special use of 'bei' with 'bewenden lassen*. A similar ambiguity 
occurs in the following sentence. 

3 'Das auf Bewandtnis hin freigebende Je-schon-haben-bewenden-lassen ist ein 
apriorisches Perfekt, das die Seinsart des Daseins selbst charakterisiert. 

n8 Being and Time I. 3 

is freed. 1 Our concern encounters it as this thing that is ready-to-hand. 
To the extent that any entity shows itself to concern 2 — that is, to the 
extent that it is discovered in its Being — it is already something ready- 
to-hand environmentally; it just is not 'proximally' a 'world-stuff' that 
is merely present-at-hand. 

As the Being of something ready-to-hand, an involvement is itself 
discovered only on the basis of the prior discovery of a totality of involve- 
ments. So in any involvement that has been discovered (that is, in any- 
thing ready-to-hand which we encounter), what we have called the 
"worldly character" of the ready-to-hand has been discovered before- 
hand. In this totality of involvements which has been discovered before- 
hand, there lurks an ontological relationship to the world. In letting 
entities be involved so that they are freed for a totality of involvements, 
one must have disclosed already that for which [worauf hin] they have been 
freed. But that for which something environmentally ready-to-hand 
has thus been freed (and indeed in such a manner that it becomes 
accessible as an entity within-the-world first of all), cannot itself be con- 
ceived as an entity with this discovered kind of Being. It is essentially not 
discoverable, if we henceforth reserve "discoveredness" as a term for a 
possibility of Being which every entity without the character of Dasein may 

But what does it mean to say that that for which 3 entities within-the- 
world are proximally freed must have been previously disclosed? To 
Dasein's Being, an understanding of Being belongs. Any understanding 
[Verstandnis] has its Being in an act of understanding [Verstehen]. 
If Being-in-the-world is a kind of Being which is essentially befitting to 
Dasein, then to understand Being-in-the-world belongs to the essential 
content of its understanding of Being. The previous disclosure of that for 
which what we encounter within-the-world is subsequently freed, 4 
amounts to nothing else than understanding the world — that world 
towards which Dasein as an entity always comports itself. 

Whenever we let there be an involvement with something in something 
beforehand, our doing so is grounded in our understanding such things as 
letting something be involved, and such things as the "with-which" and 
the "in-which" of involvements. Anything of this sort, and anything else 

1 'Aus dcm Wobei des Bewendenlassens her ist das Womit der Bewandtnis freigegeben.' 

2 Here we follow the newer editions in reading: 'Sofern sich ihm uberhaupt ein Seiendes 
zeigt . . .\ The older editions read 'Sofern sich mit ihm . . which is somewhat ambiguous 
but suggests that we should write: 'To the extent that with what is ready-to-hand any 
entity shows itself . . .\ 

3 'Worauf*. The older editions have 'woraufhin*. 

4 'Das vorgangige Erschliessen dessen, woraufhin die Freigabe des innerweltlichen 
Begegnenden erfolgt . . 

I. 3 Being and Time ng 

that is basic for it, such as the "towards- this" as that in which there is an 
involvement, or such as the "for-the-sake-of-which" to which. every 
"towards-which" ultimately goes back 1 — all these must be disclosed 
beforehand with a certain intelligibility [Verstandlichkeit]. And what is 
that wherein Dasein as Being-in-the-world understands itself pre-onto- 
logically? In understanding a context of relations such as we have 
mentioned, Dasein has assigned itself to an "in-order-to" [Um-zu], and it 
has done so in terms of a potentiality-for-Being for the sake of which it 
itself is— one which it may have seized upon either explicitly or tacitly, 
and which may be either authentic or inauthentic. This "in-order- to" 
prescribes a "towards- this" as a possible "in-which" for letting something 
be involved; and the structure of letting it be involved implies that this 
is an involvement which something has — an involvement which is with 
something. Dasein always assigns itself from a "for-the-sake-of-which" 
to the "with-which" of an involvement; that is to say, to the extent that it 
is, it always lets entities be encountered as ready- to-hand. 2 That wherein 
[Worin] Dasein understands itself beforehand in the mode of assigning 
itself is that for which [das Woraufhin] it has let entities be encountered 
beforehand. The "wherein" of an act of understanding which assigns or refers itself 
is that for which one lets entities be encountered in the kind of Being that belongs 
to involvements; and this "wherein" is the phenomenon of the world. 3 And the 
structure of that to which [woraufhin] Dasein assigns itself is what makes 
up the worldhood of the world. 

That wherein Dasein already understands itself in this way is always 
something with which it is primordially familiar. This familiarity with 
the world does not necessarily require that the relations which are con- 
stitutive for the world as world should be theoretically transparent. 
However, the possibility of giving these relations an explicit ontologico- 
existential Interpretation, is grounded in this familiarity with the world; 
and this familiarity, in turn, is constitutive for Dasein, and goes to make 
up Dasein's understanding of Being. This possibility is one which can be 
seized upon explicitly in so far as Dasein has set itself the task of giving 
a primordial Interpretation for its own Being and for the possibilities of 
that Being, or indeed for the meaning of Being in general. 

1 '. . . wie das Dazu, als wobei es die Bewandtnis hat, das Worum-willen, darauf letztlich 
alles Wozu zuriickgeht.' The older editions have '. . . als wobei es je die Bewandtnis 
hat . . and omit the hyphen in 'Worum-willen*. 

2 'Dieses zeichnet ein Dazu vor, als mogliches Wobei eines Bewendenlassens, das 
strukturmassig mit etwas bewenden lasst. Dasein verweist sich je schon immer aus ein em 
Worum-willen her an das Womit einer Bewandtnis, d. h. es lasst je immer schon, sofern 
es ist, Seiendes als Zuhandenes begegnen.' 

3 'Das Worin des sichverweisenden Vers te hens als Woraufhin des Begegnenlassens von Setendem 
in der Seinsart der Bewandtnis ist das Phdnomen der Welt.* 

120 Being and Time I. 3 

But as yet our analyses have done no more than lay bare the horizon 
within which such things as the world and worldhood are to be sought. 
If we are to consider these further, we must, in the first instance, make it 
still more clear how the context of Dasein's assigning-itself is to be taken 

In the act of understanding [Verstehen], which we shall analyse more 
thoroughly later (Compare Section 31), the relations indicated above 
must have been previously disclosed; the act of understanding holds them 
in this disclosedness. It holds itself in them with familiarity; and in so 
doing, it holds them before itself, for it is in these that its assignment 
operates. 1 The understanding lets itself make assignments both i n these 
relationships themselves and o f them. 2 The relational character which 
these relationships of assigning possess, we take as one of signifying. 3 In 
its familiarity with these relationships, Dasein 'signifies' to itself: in a prim- 
ordial manner it gives itself both its Being and its potentiality-for-Being 
as something which it is to understand with regard to its Being-in-the- 
world. The "for-the-sake-of-which" signifies an "in-order-to"; this in 
turn, a "towards-this" ; the latter, an "in-which" of letting something be 
involved; and that in turn, the "with-which" of an involvement. These 
relationships are bound up with one another as a primordial totality; 
they are what they are a s this signifying [Be-deuten] in which Dasein 
gives itself beforehand its Being-in-the-world as something to be under- 
stood. The relational totality of this signifying we call "significance". This 
is what makes up the structure of the world — the structure of that wherein 
Dasein as such already is. Dasein, in its familiarity with significance, is the 
ontical condition for the possibility of discovering entities which are encountered in a 
world with involvement {readiness-to-hand) as their kind of Being, and which can 
thus make themselves known as they are in themselves [in seinem An-sich]. Dasein 
as such is always something of this sort; along with its Being, a context of 
the ready-to-hand is already essentially discovered: Dasein, in so far as it 

1 'Das . . . Verstehen . . . halt die angezeigten Bezuge in ciner vorgangigen Erschlossen- 
heit. Im vcrtrauten Sich-darin-halten halt es sich diese vor als das, worin sich sein Ver- 
weisen bewegt.' The context suggests that Heidegger's 'diese* refers to the relationships 
(Bezuge) rather than to the disclosedness (Erschlossenheit), though the latter interpreta- 
tion seems a bit more plausible grammatically. 

2 'Das Verstehen lasst sich in und von diesen Beziigen selbst verweisen.' It is not 
entirely clear whether 'von' should be translated as 'of', 'from*, or 'by 1 . 

3 'be-deuten*. While Heidegger ordinarily writes this word without a hyphen (even, for 
instance, in the next sentence), he here takes pains to hyphenate it so as to suggest that 
etymologically it consists of the intensive prefix 'be-' followed by the verb 'deuten' — to 
'interpret', 'explain' or 'point to' something. We shall continue to follow our convention 
of usually translating 'bedeuten' and 'Bedeutung' by 'signify' and 'signification' respec- 
tively, reserving 'significance' for 'Bedeutsamkeit' (or, in a few cases, for 'Bedeutung'). 
But these translations obscure the underlying meanings which Heidegger is emphasizing 
in this passage. 

1. 3 Being and Time 121 

is, has always submitted 1 itself already to a 'world' which it encounters, 
and this submission 1 belongs essentially to its Being. 

But in significance itself, with which Dasein is always familiar, there 
lurks the ontological condition which makes it possible for Dasein, as 
something which understands and interprets, to disclose such things as 
'significations'; upon these, in turn, is founded the Being of words and of 

The significance thus disclosed is an existential state of Dasein — of its 
Being-in-the-world ; and as such it is the ontical condition for the possibility 
that a totality of involvements can be discovered. 

If we have thus determined that the Being of the ready-to-hand 
(involvement) is definable as a context of assignments or references, and 
that even worldhood may so be defined, then has not the 'substantial 
Being' of entities within-the-world been volatilized into a system of 
Relations? And inasmuch as Relations are always 'something thought', 
has not the Being of entities within-the-world been dissolved into 'pure 
thinking' ? 

Within our present field of investigation the following structures and 
dimensions of ontological problematics, as we have repeatedly empha- 
sized, must be kept in principle distinct: 1. the Being of those entities 
within-the-world which we proximally encounter — readiness-to-hand ; 

2. the Being of those entities which we can come across and whose nature 
we can determine if we discover them in their own right by going through 
the entities proximally encountered — presence-at-hand; 3. the Being of 
that ontical condition which makes it possible for entities within-the-world 
to be discovered at all — the worldhood of the world. This third kind of 
Being gives us an existential way of determining the nature of Being-in-the- 
world, that is, of Dasein. The other two concepts of Being are categories, 
and pertain to entities whose Being is not of the kind which Dasein pos- 
sesses. The context of assignments or references, which, as significance, is 
constitutive for worldhood, can be taken formally in the sense of a system 
of Relations. But one must note that in such formalizations the pheno- 
mena get levelled off so much that their real phenomenal content may be 
lost, especially in the case of such 'simple' relationships as those which lurk 
in significance. The phenomenal content of these 'Relations' and 'Relata' 

1 'angewiesen' ; 'Angewiesenheit'. The verb 'anweisen', like 'verweisen', can often be 
translated as 'assign', particularly in the sense in which one assigns or allots a place to 
something, or in the sense in which one gives an 'assignment' to someone by instructing 
him how to proceed. The past participle 'angewiesen' can thus mean 'assigned' in either 
of these senses; but it often takes on the connotation of 'being dependent on' something or 
even 'at the mercy' of something. In this passage we have tried to compromise by using 
the verb 'submit'. Other passages call for other idioms, and no single standard translation 
seems feasible. 

122 Being and Time I. 3 

— the "in-order-to", the "for-the-sake-of and the "with-which" of an 
involvement — is such that they resist any sort of mathematical function- 
alization; nor are they merely something thought, first posited in an 'act 
of thinking.' They are rather relationships in which concernful circum- 
spection as such already dwells. This 'system of Relations', as something 
constitutive for worldhood, is so far from volatilizing the Being of the 
ready-to-hand within-the-world, that the worldhood of the world pro- 
vides the basis on which such entities can for the first time be discovered 
as they are 'substantially' 'in themselves'. And only if entities within-the- 
world can be encountered at all, is it possible, in the field of such entities, 
to make accessible what is just present-at-hand and no more. By reason of 
their Being-just-present-at-hand-and-no-more, these latter entities can 
have their 'properties' defined mathematically in 'functional concepts.' 
Ontologically, such concepts are possible only in relation to entities whose 
Being has the character of pure substantiality. Functional concepts are 
never possible except as formalized substantial concepts. 

In order to bring out the specifically ontological problematic of world- 
hood even more sharply, we shall carry our analysis no further until we 
have clarified our Interpretation of worldhood by a case at the opposite 

B. A Contrast between our Analysis of Worldhood and Descartes' 
Interpretation of the World 
Only step by step can the concept of worldhood and the structures 
which this phenomenon embraces be firmly secured in the course of our 
investigation. The Interpretation of the world begins, in the first instance, 
with some entity within-the-world, so that the phenomenon of the world 
in general no longer comes into view; we shall accordingly try to clarify 
this approach ontologically by considering what is perhaps the most 
extreme form in which it has been carried out. We not only shall 
present briefly the basic features of Descartes' ontology of the 'world', but 
shall inquire into its presuppositions and try to characterize these in the 
light of what we have hitherto achieved. The account we shall give of 
these matters will enable us to know upon what basically undiscussed 
ontological 'foundations' those Interpretations of the world which have 
come after Descartes — and still more those which preceded him — have 

Descartes sees the extensio as basically definitive ontologically for the 
world. In so far as extension is one of the constituents of spatiality (accord- 
ing to Descartes it is even identical with it), while in some sense spatiality 
remains constitutive for the v/orld, a discussion of the Cartesian ontology 

1. 3 Being and Time 123 
of the 'world' will provide us likewise with a negative support for a 
positive explication of the spatiality of the environment and of Dasein 
itself. With regard to Descartes' ontology there are three topics which 
we shall treat: 1. the definition of the 'world' as res externa (Section 19); 

2. the foundations of this ontological definition (Section 20) ; 3. a her- 
meneutical discussion of the Cartesian ontology of the 'world' (Section 21). 
The considerations which follow will not have been grounded in full detail 
until the 'cogito sum* has been phenomenologically destroyed. (See Part 
Two, Division 2.) 1 

If ig. The Definition of the 'World 9 as res extensa. 

Descartes distinguishes the 'ego cogito 1 from the 'res corporeal This dis- 
tinction will thereafter be determinative ontologically for the distinction 
between 'Nature' and 'spirit'. No matter with how many variations of 
content the opposition between 'Nature' and 'spirit' may get set up onti- 
cally, its ontological foundations, and indeed the very poles of this 
opposition, remain unclarified; this unclarity has its proximate [nachste] 
roots in Descartes' distinction. What kind of understanding of Being does 
he have when he defines the Being of these entities? The term for the 
Being of an entity that is in itself, is "substantia". Sometimes this expres- 
sion means the Being of an entity as substance, substantiality; at other times 
it means the entity itself, a substance. That "substantia" is used in these two 
ways is not accidental; this already holds for the ancient conception of 

To determine the nature of the res corporea ontologically, we must 
explicate the substance of this entity as a substance — that is, its sub- 
stantiality. What makes up the authentic Being-in-itself [An-ihm-selbst- 
sein] of the res corporea ? How is it at all possible to grasp a substance as 
such, that is, to grasp its substantiality? "Et quidem ex quolibet attributo 
substantia cognoscitur; sed una tamen est cuius que substantiae praecipua proprietary 
quae ipsius naturam essentiamque constituit, et ad quam aliae omnes referuntur." m 
Substances become accessible in their 'attributes', and every substance has 
some distinctive property from which the essence of the substantiality of that 
definite substance can be read off. Which property is this in the case of 
the res corporea? "Nempe extensio in longum y latum et profundum, substantiae 
corporeae naturam constituit." iv Extension — namely, in length, breadth, and 
thickness — makes up the real Being of that corporeal substance which we 
call the 'world'. What gives the extensio this distinctive status? "Nam 
omne aliud quod corpori tribui potest y extensionem praesupponit . . ." v Extension is 
a state-of-Being constitutive for the entity we are talking about; it is that 
1 This portion of Being and Time has never been published. 

1124 Being and Time I. 3 

which must already 'be' before any other ways in which Being is deter- 
mined, so that these can 'be' what they are. Extension must be 'assigned* 
["zugewiesen"] primarily to the corporeal Thing. The 'world's' extension 
and substantiality (which itself is characterized by extension) are accord- 
ingly demonstrated by showing how all the other characteristics which 
this substance definitely possesses (especially divisio, figura, motus), can be 
conceived only as modi of extensio, while, on the other hand, extensio sine 
figura vel motu remains quite intelligible. 

Thus a corporeal Thing that maintains its total extension can still 
undergo many changes in the ways in which that extension is distributed 
in the various dimensions, and can present itself in manifold shapes as 
one and the same Thing. "... atque unum et idem corpus , retinendo suam 
eandem quantitatem, pluribus diver sis modis potest extendi: nunc scilicet magis 
secundum longitudinem, minusque secundum latitudinem vel profunditatem, ac paulo 
post e contra magis secundum latitudinem, et minus secundum longitudinem ." vl 

Shape is a modus of extensio, and so is motion : for motus is grasped only 
"si de nullo nisi locali cogitemus, ac de vi a qua excitatur . . . non inquiramus." vii 
If the motion is a property of the res corporea, and a property which i s, 
then in order for it to be experienceable in its Being, it must be conceived 
in terms of the Being of this entity itself, in terms of extensio; this means 
that it must be conceived as mere change of location. So nothing like 
'force' counts for anything in determining what the Being of this entity is. 
Matter may have such definite characteristics as hardness, weight, and 
colour; (durities, pondus, color) ; but these can all be taken away from it, 
and it still remains what it is. These do not go to make up its real Being; 
and in so far as they are, they turn out to be modes of extensio. Descartes 
tries to show this in detail with regard to 'hardness': "Nam, quantum ad 
duritiem, nihil aliud de ilia sensus nobis indicat, quam partes durorum corporum 
resistere motui manuum nostrarum, cum in Mas incurrant. Si enim, quotiescunque 
manus nostrae versus aliquam partem moventur, corpora omnia ibi existentia recede- 
rent eadem celeritate qua Mae accedunt, nullam unquam duritiem sentiremus. Nec 
ullo modo potest intelligi, corpora quae sic recederent, idcirco naturam corporis esse 
amissura; nec proinde ipsa in duritie consistit." yiii Hardness is experienced 
when one feels one's way by touch [Tasten]. What does the sense of touch 
'tell' us about it? The parts of the hard Thing 'resist' a movement of the 
hand, such as an attempt to push it away. If, however, hard bodies, those 
which do not give way, should change their locations with the same 
velocity as that of the hand which 'strikes at' them, nothing would ever 
get touched [Benihren], and hardness would not be experienced and 
would accordingly never be. But it is quite incomprehensible that bodies 
which give way with such velocity should thus forfeit any of their 

I. 3 Being and Time 125 

corporeal Being. If they retain this even under a change in velocity which 
makes it impossible for anything like 'hardness' to be, then hardness does 
not belong to the Being of entities of this sort. "Eademque ratione ostendi 
potest, et pondus, et colorem, et alias omnes eiusmodi qualitates, quae in materia 
corporea sentiuntur, ex ea to Hi posse, ipsa integra remanente: unde sequitur, a nulla 
ex Mis eius (sc. extensionis} naturam dependere." 1 * Thus what makes up the 
Being of the res corporea is the extensio: that which is omnimodo divisibile, 
figurabile et mobile (that which can change itself by being divided, shaped, 
or moved in any way), that which is capax mutationum — that which main- 
tains itself (remanet) through all these changes. In any corporeal Thing 
the real entity is what is suited for thus remaining constant [stdndigen Verbleib], 
so much so, indeed that this is how the substantiality of such a substance 
gets characterized. 

20. Foundations of the Ontological Definition of the ' World' 
Substantiality is the idea of Being to which the ontological characteriza- 
tion of the res externa harks back. "Per substantiam nihil aliud intelligere 
possumus, quam rem quae ita existit, ut nulla alia re indigeat ad existendum" "By 
substance we can understand nothing else than an entity which is in such 
a way that it needs no other entity in order to be." x The Being of a 'sub- 
stance' is characterized by not needing anything. That whose Being is 
such that it has no need at all for any other entity satisfies the idea of 
substance in the authentic sense; this entity is the ens perfectissimum. 
"... substantia quae nulla plane re indigeat, unica tantum potest intelligi, nempe 
Deus." xi Here 'God' is a purely ontological term, if it is to be understood 
as ens perfectissimum. At the same time, the 'self-evident' connotation of 
the concept of God is such as to permit an ontological interpretation for 
the characteristic of not needing anything — a constitutive item in sub- 
stantiality. "Alias vero omnes (res}, non nisi ope concursus Dei existere posse 
percipimus." xii All entities other than God need to be "produced" in the 
widest sense and also to be sustained. 'Being' is to be understood within 
a horizon which ranges from the production of what is to be present-at- 
hand to something which has no need of being produced. Every entity 
which is not God is an ens creatum. The Being which belongs to one of these 
entities is 'infinitely' different from that which belongs to the other; yet 
we still consider creation and creator alike as entities. We are thus using 
"Being" in so wide a sense that its meaning embraces an 'infinite' differ- 
ence. So even created entities can be called "substance" with some right. 
Relative to God, of course, these entities need to be produced and sus- 
tained; but within the realm of created entities — the 'world' in the sense 
of ens creatum — there are things which 'are in need of no other entity' 

126 Being and Time I. 3 

relatively to the creaturely production and sustentation that we find, for 
instance, in man. Of these substances there are two kinds : the res cogitans 
and the res externa. 

The Being of that substance whose distinctive proprietas is presented by 
extensio thus becomes definable in principle ontologically if we clarify 
the meaning of Being which is 'common' to the three kinds of substances, one 
of them infinite, the others both finite. But ". . . nomen substantiae non con- 
venit Deo et Mis univoce ut did solet inScholis, hoc est . . . quae Deo et creaturis 
sit communis."* 111 Here Descartes touches upon a problem with which 
medieval ontology was often busied — the question of how the signification 
of ' 'Being' ' signifies any entity which one may on occasion be con- 
sidering. In the assertions 'God is' and 'the world is', we assert Being. 
This word 'is', however, cannot be meant to apply to these entities in the 
same sense (ovvcovvfUDS, univoce), when between them there is an infinite 
difference of Being ; if the signification of 'is' were univocal, then what is 
created would be viewed as if it were uncreated, or the uncreated would 
be reduced to the status of something created. But neither does 'Being 5 
function as a mere name which is the same in both cases: in both cases 
'Being' is understood. This positive sense in which 'Being' signifies is one 
which the Schoolmen took as a signification 'by analogy', as distinguished 
from one which is univocal or merely homonymous. Taking their depar- 
ture from Aristotle, in whom this problem is foreshadowed in prototypical 
form just as at the very outset of Greek ontology, they established various 
kinds of analogy, so that even the 'Schools' have different ways of taking 
the signification-function of "Being". In working out this problem onto- 
logically, Descartes is always far behind the Schoolmen ; xlv indeed he 
evades the question. "... nulla eius (substantiae y nominis significatio potest 
distincte intelligi, quae Deo et creaturis sit communis"™ This evasion is tanta- 
mount to his failing to discuss the meaning of Being which the idea of 
substantiality embraces, or the character of the 'universality' which belongs 
to this signification. Of course even the ontology of the medievals has gone 
no further than that of the ancients in inquiring into what "Being" itself 
may mean. So it is not surprising if no headway is made with a question 
like that of the way in which "Being" signifies, as long as this has to be 
discussed on the basis of an unclarified meaning of Being which this 
signification 'expresses'. The meaning remains unclarified because it is 
held to be 'self-evident'. 

Descartes not only evades the ontological question of substantiality 
altogether; he also emphasizes explicitly that substance as such — that is 
to say, its substantiality — is in and for itself inaccessible from the outset 
[vorgangig], "Verumtamen non potest substantia primum animadverti ex hoc solo, 

I. 3 Being and Time 127 

quod sit res existens, quia hoc solum per se nos non qfficit . . .". xvi 'Being' itself 
does not 'affect' us, and therefore cannot be perceived. 'Being is not a 
Real predicate,' says Kant, 1 who is merely repeating Descartes' principle. 
Thus the possibility of a pure problematic of Being gets renounced in 
principle, and a way is sought for arriving at those definite characteristics 
of substance which we have designated above. Because 'Being' is not in 
fact accessible as an entity, it is expressed through attributes — definite 
characteristics of the entities under consideration, characteristics which 
themselves are. 2 Being is not expressed through just any such charac- 
teristics, but rather through those satisfying in the purest manner that 
meaning of "Being" and "substantiality", which has still been tacitly 
presupposed. To the substantia finita as res corporea, what must primarily 
be 'assigned' ["Zuweisung"] is the extensio. "Quin et facilius intelligimus 
substantiam extensam, vel substantiam cogitantem, quam substantiam solam, 
omisso eo quod cogitet vel sit externa" i*" 11 for substantiality is detachable 
ratione tantum; it is not detachable realiter, nor can we come across it in 
the way in which we come across those entities themselves which are 

Thus the ontological grounds for defining the 'world' as res extensa have 
been made plain: they lie in the idea of substantiality, which not only 
remains unclarified in the meaning of its Being, but gets passed off as 
something incapable of clarification, and gets represented indirectly by 
way of whatever substantial property belongs most pre-eminently to the 
particular substance. Moreover, in this way of defining a substance 
through some substantial entity, lies the reason why the term "substance" 
is used in two ways. What is here intended is substantiality; and it gets 
understood in terms of a characteristic of substance — a characteristic 
which is itself an entity. 3 Because something ontical is made to underlie 
the ontological, the expression "substantia" functions sometimes with a 
signification which is ontological, sometimes with one which is ontical, but 
mostly with one which is hazily ontico-ontological. Behind this slight 
difference of signification, however, there lies hidden a failure to master 
the basic problem of Being. To treat this adequately, we must 'track 
down' the equivocations in the right way. He who attempts this sort of 
thing does not just 'busy himself with 'merely verbal significations' ; he 
must venture forward into the most primordial problematic of the 'things 
themselves' to get such 'nuances' straightened out. 

1 Immanuel Kant, Critique of Pure Reason, Transcendental Dialectic, Book II, chapter III, 
Section 4. 

2 . . seiende Bestimmthciten des betreffenden Seienden . . .* 

3 . . aus einer seienden Beschaftenheit der Substanz.' 

128 Being and Time I. 3 

^ 21. Hermeneutical Discussion of the Cartesian Ontology of the ' World' 

The critical question now arises : does this ontology of the 'world' seek 
the phenomenon of the world at all, and if not, does it at least define some 
entity within-the-world fully enough so that the worldly character of this 
entity can be made visible in it? To both questions we must answer "jVb". The 
entity which Descartes is trying to grasp ontologically and in principle 
with his "extensio", is rather such as to become discoverable first of all by 
going through an entity within-the-world which is proximally ready-to- 
hand — Nature. Though this is the case, and though any ontological 
characterization of this latter entity within-the-world may lead us into 
obscurity, even if we consider both the idea of substantiality and the 
meaning of the "existit" and "ad existendum" which have been brought 
into the definition of that idea, it still remains possible that through an 
ontology based upon a radical separation of God, the "I", and the 'world', 
the ontological problem of the world will in some sense get formulated 
and further advanced. If, however, this is not possible, we must then 
demonstrate explicitly not only that Descartes' conception of the world 
is ontologically defective, but that his Interpretation and the foundations 
on which it is based have led him to pass over both the phenomenon of the 
world and the Being of those entities within-the-world which are proxim- 
ally ready-to-hand. 

In our exposition of the problem of worldhood (Section 14), we sug- 
gested the importance of obtaining proper access to this phenomenon. So 
in criticizing the Cartesian point of departure, we must ask which kind 
of Being that belongs to Dasein we should fix upon as giving us an appro- 
priate way of access to those entities with whose Being as extensio Descartes 
equates the Being of the 'world'. The only genuine access to them lies in 
knowing [Erkennen], intellectio, in the sense of the kind of knowledge 
[Erkenntnis] we get in mathematics and physics. Mathematical knowledge 
is regarded by Descartes as the one manner of apprehending entities 
which can always give assurance that their Being has been securely 
grasped. If anything measures up in its own kind of Being to the Being 
that is accessible in mathematical knowledge, then it is in the authentic 
sense. Such entities are those which always are what they are. Accordingly, 
that which can be shown to have the character of something that constantly 
remains (as remanens capax mutationum), makes up the real Being of those 
entities of the world which get experienced. That which enduringly 
remains, really is. This is the sort of thing which mathematics knows. 
That which is accessible in an entity through mathematics, makes up its 
Being. Thus the Being of the 'world' is, as it were, dictated to it in terms 
of a definite idea of Being which lies veiled in the concept of substantiality, 

I. 3 Being and Time 129 

and in terms of the idea of a knowledge by which such entities are 
cognized. The kind of Being which belongs to entities within-the-world 
is something which they themselves might have been permitted to present; 
but Descartes does not let them do so. 1 Instead he prescribes for the world 
its 'real' Being, as it were, on the basis of an idea of Being whose source 
has not been unveiled and which has not been demonstrated in its own 
right — an idea in which Being is equated with constant presence-at-hand. 
Thus his ontology of the world is not primarily determined by his leaning 
towards mathematics, a science which he chances to esteem very 
highly, but rather by his ontological orientation in principle towards 
Being as constant presence-at-hand, which mathematical knowledge 
is exceptionally well suited to grasp. In this way Descartes explicitly 
switches over philosophically from the development of traditional 
ontology to modern mathematical physics and its transcendental 

The problem of how to get appropriate access to entities within-the- 
world is one which Descartes feels no need to raise. Under the unbroken 
ascendance of the traditional ontology, the way to get a genuine grasp 
of what really i s [des eigentlichen Seienden] has been decided in advance : 
it lies in voelv — 'beholding' in the widest sense [der "Anschauung" im 
weitesten Sinne]; oWotiv or 'thinking' is just a more fully achieved 
form of vo€iv and is founded upon it. Sensatio (cucrfl^tn?), as opposed to 
intellect™ , still remains possible as a way of access to entities by a beholding 
which is perceptual in character; but Descartes presents his 'critique' of 
it because he is oriented ontologically by these principles. 

Descartes knows very well that entities do not proximally show them- 
selves in their real Being. What is 'proximally' given is this waxen Thing 
which is coloured, flavoured, hard, and cold in definite ways, and which 
gives off its own special sound when struck. But this is not of any import- 
ance ontologically, nor, in general, is anything which is given through the 
senses. "Satis erit, si advertamus sensuum perceptiones non referri 9 nisi ad istam 
corporis humani cum mente coniunctionem, et nobis quidem ordinarie exhibere, quid 
ad Mam externa corpora prodesse possint out nocere . . ." xvlIi The senses do not 
enable us to cognize any entity in its Being; they merely serve to announce 
the ways in which 'external' Things within-the-world are useful or harm- 
ful for human creatures encumbered with bodies. ". . . non . . . nos docere, 
qualia (corpora) in seipsis existant" ; xix they tell us nothing about entities 
in their Being. "Quod agentes, percipiemus naturam materiae, sive corporis in 
universum spectati, non consistere in eo quod sit res dura, vel ponderosa, vel color ata y 

1 'Descartes lasst sich nicht die Seinsart des innerweltlichen Seienden von diesem 
vorgeben . . .* 

130 Being and Time I. 3 

vel alio aliquo modo sensus qfficiens : sed tantum in eo quod sit res extensa in longum, 
latum et prqfundum." xx 

If we subject Descartes' Interpretation of the experience of hardness and 
resistance to a critical analysis, it will be plain how unable he is to let 
what shows itself in sensation present itself in its own kind of Being, 1 or 
even to determine its character (Cf. Section 19). 

Hardness gets taken as resistance. But neither hardness nor resistance 
is understood in a phenomenal sense, as something experienced in itself 
whose nature can be determined in such an experience. For Descartes, 
resistance amounts to no more than not yielding place — that is, not 
undergoing any change of location. So if a Thing resists, this means that 
it stays in a definite location relatively to some other Thing which is 
changing its location, or that it is changing its own location with a velocity 
which permits the other Thing to £ catch up' with it. But when the exper- 
ience of hardness is Interpreted this way, the kind of Being which belongs 
to sensory perception is obliterated, and so is any possibility that the 
entities encountered in such perception should be grasped in their Being. 
Descartes takes the kind of Being which belongs to the perception of 
something, and translates it into the only kind he knows : the perception 
of something becomes a definite way of Being-present-at-hand-side-by- 
side of two res extensae which are present-at-hand ; the way in which their 
movements are related is itself a mode of that extensio by which the 
presence-at-hand of the corporeal Thing is primarily characterized. Of 
course no behaviour in which one feels one's way by touch [eines tastenden 
Verhaltens] can be 'completed' unless what can thus be felt [des Betast- 
baren] has 'closeness' of a very special kind. But this does not mean that 
touching [Beruhrung] and the hardness which makes itself known in 
touching consist ontologically in different velocities of two corporeal 
Things. Hardness and resistance do not show themselves at all unless an 
entity has the kind of Being which Dasein — or at least something living — 

Thus Descartes' discussion of possible kinds of access to entities within- 
the-world is dominated by an idea of Being which has been gathered from 
a definite realm of these entities themselves. 

The idea of Being as permanent presence-at-hand not only gives 
Descartes a motive for identifying entities within-the-world with the world 
in general, and for providing so extreme a definition of their Being; it 
also keeps him from bringing Dasein's ways of behaving into view in a 
manner which is ontologically appropriate. But thus the road is completely 

1 '. . . das in der Sinnlichkeit sich Zeigende in seiner eigenen Seinsart sich vorgeben 
zu lassen . . .' 

III. 3 Being and Time 131 

blocked to seeing the founded character of all sensory and intellective 
awareness, and to understanding these as possibilities of Being-in-the- 
world. 1 On the contrary, he takes the Being of 'Dasein' (to whose basic 
constitution Being-in-the-world belongs) in the very same way as he takes 
the Being of the res extensa — namely, as substance. 

But with these criticisms, have we not fobbed off on Descartes a task 
altogether beyond his horizon, and then gone on to 'demonstrate' that 
he has failed to solve it ? If Descartes does not know the phenomenon of 
the world, and thus knows no such thing as within-the-world-ness, how 
can he identify the world itself with certain entities within-the-world and 
the Being which they possess ? 

In controversy over principles, one must not only attach oneself to 
theses which can be grasped doxographicaily; one must also derive one's 
orientation from the objective tendency of the problematic, even if it 
does not go beyond a rather ordinary way of taking things. In his doctrine 
of the res cogitans and the res extensa, Descartes not only wants to formulate 
the problem of 'the "I" and the world'; he claims to have solved it in a 
radical manner. His Meditations make this plain. (See especially Medita- 
tions I and VI.) By taking his basic on tological orientation from traditional 
sources and not subjecting it to positive criticism, he has made it impos- 
sible to lay bare any primordial on tological problematic of Dasein; this 
has inevitably obstructed his view of the phenomenon of the world, and 
has made it possible for the ontology of the 'world' to be compressed into 
that of certain entities within-the-world. The foregoing discussion should 
have proved this. 

One might retort, however, that even if in point of fact both the problem 

of the world and the Being of the entities encountered environmentally 

as closest to us remain concealed, Descartes has still laid the basis for 

characterizing ontologically that entity within-the-world upon which, in 

its very Being, every other entity is founded — material Nature. This would 

be the fundamental stratum upon which all the other strata of actuality 

within-the-world are built up. The extended Thing as such would serve, 

in the first instance, as the ground for those definite characters which 

show themselves, to be sure, as qualities, but which 'at bottom' are 

quantitative modifications of the modes of the extensio itself. These 

qualities, which are themselves reducible, would provide the footing for 

such specific qualities as "beautiful", "ugly", "in keeping", "not in 

1 'Damit ist aber vollends der Weg dazu verlegt, gar auch noch den fundierten Charakter 
alles sinnlichen und verstandesmassigen Vernehmens zu sehen und sie als eine Moglichkeit 
des In-der-Welt-seins zu verstehen.' While we have construed the pronoun Sie' as re- 
ferring to the two kinds of awareness which have just been mentioned, it would be 
grammatically more plausible to interpret it as referring either to 'Dasein's ways of 
behaving' or to 'the idea of Being as permanent presence-at-hand'. 

132 Being and Time I. 3 

keeping," "useful", "useless". If one is oriented primarily by Thinghood, 
these latter qualities must be taken as non-quantifiable value-predicates 
by which what is in the first instance just a material Thing, gets stamped 
as something good. But with this stratification, we come to those entities 
which we have characterized ontologically as equipment ready-to-hand 
The Cartesian analysis of the 'world' would thus enable us for the first 
time to build up securely the structure of what is proximally ready-to- 
hand; all it takes is to round out the Thing of Nature until it becomes a 
full-fledged Thing of use, and this is easily done. 

But quite apart from the specific problem of the world itself, can the 
Being of what we encounter proximally within-the-world be reached 
ontologically by this procedure ? When we speak of material Thinghood, 
have we not tacitly posited a kind of Being — the constant presence-at 
hand of Things — which is so far from having been rounded out ontologic- 
ally by subsequently endowing entities with value-predicates, that these 
value-characters themselves are rather just ontical characteristics of those 
entities which have the kind of Being possessed by Things ? Adding on 
value-predicates cannot tell us anything at all new about the Being of 
goods, but would merely presuppose again that goods have pure presence-at-hand 
as their kind of Being. Values would then be determinate characteristics 
which a Thing possesses, and they would be present-aUhand. They would 
have their sole ultimate ontological source in our previously laying down 
the actuality of Things as the fundamental stratum. But even pre- 
phenomenological experience shows that in an entity which is supposedly 
a Thing, there is something that will not become fully intelligible through 
Thinghood alone. Thus the Being of Things has to be rounded out. 
What, then does the Being of values or their 'validity' ["Geltung"] (which 
Lotze took as a mode of 'affirmation') really amount to ontologically? 
And what does it signify ontologically for Things to be 'invested' with 
values in this way ? As long as these matters remain obscure, to reconstruct 
the Thing of use in terms of the Thing of Nature is an ontologically 
questionable undertaking, even if one disregards the way in which the 
problematic has been perverted in principle. And if we are to reconstruct 
this Thing of use, which supposedly comes to us in the first instance 'with 
its skin ofF, does not this always require that we previously take a positive look 
at the phenomenon whose totality such a reconstruction is to restore? But if we have 
not given a proper explanation beforehand of its ownmost state of Being, 
are we not building our reconstruction without a plan? Inasmuch as this 
reconstruction and 'rounding-out' of the traditional ontology of the 'world' 
results in our reaching the same entities with which we started when we 
100 analysed the readiness-to-hand of equipment and the totality of 

I, 3 Being and Time 133 

involvements, it seems as if the Being of these entities has in fact been 
clarified or has at least become a problem. But by taking extensio as aproprietas 9 
Descartes can hardly reach the Being of substance; and by taking refuge 
in 'value'-characteristics ["wertlichen" Beschaffenheiten] we are just 
as far from even catching a glimpse of Being as readiness-to-hand, let 
alone permitting it to become an ontological theme. 

Descartes has narrowed down the question of the world to that of 
Things of Nature [Naturdinglichkeit] as those entities within-the-world 
which are proximally accessible. He has confirmed the opinion that to 
know an entity in what is supposedly the most rigorous ontical manner is 
our only possible access to the primary Being of the entity which such 
knowledge reveals. But at the same time we must have the insight to 
see that in principle the 'roundings-out' of the Thing-ontology also 
operate on the same dogmatic basis as that which Descartes has adopted. 

We have already intimated in Section 14 that passing over the world 
and those entities which we proximally encounter is not accidental, not 
an oversight which it would be simple to correct, but that it is grounded 
in a kind of Being which belongs essentially to Dasein itself. When our 
analytic of Dasein has given some transparency to those main structures 
of Dasein which are of the most importance in the framework of this 
problematic, and when we have assigned [zugewiesen] to the concept of 
Being in general the horizon within which its intelligibility becomes 
possible, so that readiness-to-hand and presence-at-hand also become 
primordially intelligible ontologically for the first time, only then can our 
critique of the Cartesian ontology of the world (an ontology which, in 
principle, is still the usual one today) come philosophically into its own. 

To do this, we must show several things. (See Part One, Division 
Three.) 1 

1 . Why was the phenomenon of the world passed over at the beginning 
of the ontological tradition which has been decisive for us (explicitly 
in the case of Parmenides), and why has this passing-over kept 
constantly recurring? 

2. Why is it that, instead of the phenomenon thus passed over, entities 
within-the-world have intervened as an ontological theme? 2 

3. Why are these entities found in the first instance in 'Nature'? 

4. Why has recourse been taken to the phenomenon of value when it 
has seemed necessary to round out such an ontology of the world ? 

1 This Division has never been published. 

2 'Warum springt fur das ubersprungene Phanomen das innerweltlich Seiende als 
ontologisches Thema ein?* The verbal play on 'uberspringen' ('pass over') and 'einsprin- 
gen' ('intervene' or 'serve as a deputy') is lost in translation. On 'einspringen' see our 
note 1, p. 158, H. 122 below. 

134 Being and Time I. 3 

In the answers to these questions a positive understanding o{ the problem- 
atic of the world will be reached for the first time, the sources of our failure 
to recognize it will be exhibited, and the ground for rejecting the tradi- 
tional ontology of the world will have been demonstrated. 
IOI The world and Dasein and entities within- the-world are the ontologic- 
ally constitutive states which are closest to us; but we have no guarantee 
that we can achieve the basis for meeting up with these as phenomena by 
the seemingly obvious procedure of starting with the Things of the world, 
still less by taking our orientation from what is supposedly the most 
rigorous knowledge of entities. Our observations on Descartes should have 
brought us this insight. 

But if we recall that spatiality is manifestly one of the constituents of 
entities within-the-world, then in the end the Cartesian analysis of the 
'world' can still be 'rescued 5 . When Descartes was so radical as to set up 
the extensio as the praesuppositum for every definite characteristic of the res 
corporea, he prepared the way for the understanding of something a priori 
whose content Kant was to establish with greater penetration. Within 
certain limits the analysis of the extensio remains independent of his 
neglecting to provide an explicit interpretation for the Being of extended 
entities. There is some phenomenal justification for regarding the extensio 
as a basic characteristic of the 'world', even if by recourse to this neither 
the spatiality of the world nor that of the entities we encounter in our 
environment (a spatiality which is proximally discovered) nor even that 
of Dasein itself, can be conceived ontologically. 

C. The Aroundness of the Environment 1 and Dasein's Spatiality 
In connection with our first preliminary sketch of Being-in (See Section 
12), we had to contrast Dasein with a way of Being in space which we call 
"insideness" [Inwendigkeit]. This expression means that an entity which 
is itself extended is closed round [umschl jssen] by the extended boundaries 
of something that is likewise extended. The entity inside [Das inwendig 
Seiende] and that which closes it round are both present-at-hand in space. 
Yet even if we deny that Dasein has any such insideness in a spatial 
receptacle, this does not in principle exclude it from having any spatiality 
at all, but merely keeps open the way for seeing the kind of spatiality 
which is constitutive for Dasein. This must now be set forth. But inasmuch 
as any entity within-the-worW is likewise in space, its spatiality will have 
an ontological connection with the world. We must therefore determine 
in what sense space is a constituent for that world which has in turn been 
characterized as an item in the structure of Being-in- the- world. In particular 
1 'Das Umhafte der UmweW. See our note i, p. 93, H. 65 above, 

I. 3 Being and Time 135 

we must show how the aroundness of the environment, the specific 
spatiality of entities encountered in the environment, is founded upon 
the worldhood of the world, while contrariwise the world, on its part, is 102 
not present-at-hand in space. Our study of Dasein's spatiality and the 
way in which the world is spatially determined will take its departure 
from an analysis of what is ready-to-hand in space within-the-world. We 
shall consider three topics: 1. the spatiality of the ready-to-hand within- 
the-world (Section 22) ; 2. the spatiality of Being-in-the-world (Section 
23) ; 3. space and the spatiality of Dasein (Section 24). 

22. The Spatiality of the Ready-to-hand Within-the-world 
If space is constitutive for the world in a sense which we have yet to 
determine, then it cannot surprise us that in our foregoing ontological 
characterization of the Being of what is within-the-world we have had 
to look upon this as something that is also within space. This spatiality of 
the ready-to-hand is something which we have not yet grasped explicitly 
as a phenomenon; nor have we pointed out how it is bound up with the 
structure of Being which belongs to the ready-to-hand. This is now our 

To what extent has our characterization of the ready-to-hand already 
come up against its spatiality? We have been talking about what is 
proximally ready- to-hand. This means not only those entities which we 
encounter first before any others, but also those which are 'close by'. 1 
What is ready-to-hand in our everyday dealings has the character of 
closeness. To be exact, this closeness of equipment has already been 
intimated in the term 'readiness-to-hand', which expresses the Being of 
equipment. Every entity that is 'to hand' has a different closeness, which 
is not to be ascertained by measuring distances. This closeness regulates 
itself in terms of circumspectively 'calculative* manipulating and using. 
At the same time what is close in this way gets established by the circum- 
spection of concern, with regard to the direction in which the equipment 
is accessible at any time. When this closeness of the equipment has been 
given directionality, 2 this signifies not merely that the equipment has its 

1 'in der Nahe.' While the noun 'Nahe' often means the 'closeness 9 or 'nearness* of some- 
thing that is close to us, it can also stand for our immediate 'vicinity, as in the present 
expression, and in many passages it can be interpreted either way. We shall in general 
translate it as 'closeness', but we shall translate 'in der Nahe' and similar phrases as 
'close by'. 

2 'Die ausgerichtete Nahe des Zeugs . . .' The verb 'ausrichten' has many specialized 
meanings — to 'align* a row of troops, to 'explore' a mine, to 'make arrangements' for 
something, to 'carry out' a commission, etc. Heidegger, however, keeps its root meaning 
in mind and associates it with the word 'Richtung' ('direction', 'route to be taken', 
etc.). We shall accordingly translate it as a rule by some form of the verb 'direct' (which 
will also be used occasionally for the verb 'rich ten'), or by some compound expression 
involving the word 'directional'. For further discussion, see H. 108 ff. below. 

136 Being and Time I. 3 

position [Stelle] in space as present-at-hand somewhere, but also that as 
equipment it has been essentially fitted up and installed, set up, and put 
to rights. Equipment has its place [Platz], or else it 'lies around'; this must 
be distinguished in principle from just occurring at random in some 
spatial position. When equipment for something or other has its place, 
this place defines itself as the place of this equipment — as one place out 
of a whole totality of places directionally lined up with each other and 
belonging to the context of equipment that is environmentally ready-to- 
hand. Such a place and such a muliplicity of places are not to be inter- 
preted as the "where" of some random Being-present-at-hand of Things. 
In each case the place is the definite 'there' or 'yonder* ["Dort" und 
"Da"] of an item of equipment which belongs somewhere. Its belonging- 
somewhere at the time [Die jeweilige Hingehorigheit] corresponds to the 
equipmental character of what is ready- to-hand; that is, it corresponds to 
the belonging-to [Zugehorigkeit] which the ready-to-hand has towards a 
totality of equipment in accordance with its involvements. But in general 
the "whither" to which the totality of places for a context of equipment 
gets allotted, is the underlying condition which makes possible the belong- 
ing-somewhere of an equipmental totality as something that can be placed; 
This "whither", which makes it possible for equipment to belong some- 
where, and which we circumspectively keep in view ahead of us in our 
concernful dealings, we call the "region". 1 

'In the region of 5 means not only 'in the direction of 3 but also within 
the range [Umkreis] of something that lies in that direction. The kind of 
place which is constituted by direction and remoteness 2 (and closeness 
is only a mode of the latter) is already oriented towards a region and 
oriented within it. Something like a region must first be discovered if 
there is to be any possibility of allotting or coming across places for a 
totality of equipment that is circumspectively at one's disposal. The 
regional orientation of the multiplicity of places belonging to the ready- 
to-hand goes to make up the aroundness — the "round-about-us" [das 
Um-uns-herum] — of those entities which we encounter as closest environ- 
mentally. A three-dimensional multiplicity of possible positions which 
gets filled up with Things present-at-hand is never proximally given. This 
dimensionality of space is still veiled in the spatiality of the ready- to-hand. 
The 'above' is what is 'on the ceiling' ; the 'below' is what is 'on the floor' ; 

1 *Gegend\ There is no English word which quite corresponds to 'Gegend'. 'Region' 
and Whereabouts' perhaps come the closest, and we have chosen the former as the more 
convenient. (Heidegger himself frequently uses the word 'Region', but he does so in 
contexts where 'realm* seems to be the most appropriate translation ; we have usually so 
translated it, leaving the English 'region' for 'Gegend'.) 

2 'Entferntheit'. For further discussion, see Section 23 and our note 2, p. 138, H. 105. 

I. 3 Being and Time 137 

the 'behind' is what is 'at the door'; all "wheres" are discovered and 
circumspectively interpreted as we go our ways in everyday dealings; 
they are not ascertained and catalogued by the observational measure- 
ment of space. 

Regions are not first formed by things which are* present-at-hand 
together; they always are ready- to-hand already in individual places. 
Places themselves either get allotted to the ready-to-hand in the circum- 
spection of concern, or we come across them. Thus anything constantly 
ready-to-hand of which circumspective Being-in-the-world takes account 
beforehand, has its place. The "where" of its readiness-to-hand is put to 
account as a matter for concern, and oriented towards the rest of what is 
ready- to-hand. Thus the sun, whose light and warmth are in everyday 
use, has its own places — sunrise, midday, sunset, midnight; these are 
discovered in circumspection and treated distinctively in terms of changes 
in the usability of what the sun bestows. Here we have something which 
is ready- to-hand with uniform constancy, although it keeps changing; its 
places become accentuated 'indicators' of the regions which lie in them. 
These celestial regions, which need not have any geographical meaning as 
yet, provide the "whither" beforehand for every 1 special way of giving 
form to the regions which places can occupy. The house has its sunny side 
and its shady side; the way it is divided up into 'rooms' ["Raume"] is 
oriented towards these, and so is the 'arrangement' ["Einrichtung"] 
within them, according to their character as equipment. Churches and 
graves, for instance, are laid out according to the rising and the setting 
of the sun — the regions of life and death, which are determinative for 
Dasein itself with regard to its ownmost possibilities of Being in the world. 
Dasein, in its very Being, has this Being as an issue ; and its concern dis- 
covers beforehand those regions in which some involvement is decisive. 
This discovery of regions beforehand is co-determined [mitbestimmt] by 
the totality of involvements for which the ready- to-hand, as something 
encountered, is freed. 

The readiness-to-hand which belongs to any such region beforehand 
has the character of inconspicuous familiarity, and it has it in an even more 
primordial sense than does the Being of the ready- to-hand. 2 The region 
itself becomes visible in a conspicuous manner only when one discovers 

1 Reading 'jede' with the later editions. The earliest editions have 'je', which has been 
corrected in the list of errata. 

2 'Die vorgangige Zuhandenheit der jeweiligen Gegend hat in einem noch urspriing- 
licheren Sinne als das Sein des Zuhandenen den Charakter der unauffalligen Vertrautheit* 
Here the phrase 'als das Sein des Zuhandenen' is ambiguously placed. In the light of 
Section 16 above, we have interpreted 'als' as 'than' rather than 'as', and have treated 'das 
Sein' as a nominative rather than an accusative. But other readings are grammatically 
just as possible. 

138 Being and Time I, 3 

the ready-to-hand circumspectively and does so in the deficient modes of 
concern, 1 Often the region of a place does not become accessible explicitly 
as such a region until one fails to find something in its place. The space 
which is discovered in circumspective Being-in-the-world as the spatiality 
of the totality of -equipment, always belongs to entities themselves as the 
place of that totality. The bare space itself is still veiled over. Space has 
been split up into places. But this spatiality has its own unity through 
that totality-of-involvements in-accordance-with-the-world [weltmassige] 
which belongs to the spatially ready-to-hand. The 'environment' does 
not arrange itself in a space which has been given in advance ; but its 
specific worldhood, in its significance, Articulates the context of involve- 
ments which belongs to some current totality of circumspectively allotted 
places. The world at such a time always reveals the spatiality of the space 
which belongs to it. To encounter the ready-to-hand in its environmental 
space remains ontically possible only because Dasein itself is 'spatial' with 
regard to its Being-in-the-world. 

If 23. The Spatiality of Being-in-the-world 

If we attribute spatiality to Dasein, then this 'Being in space' must 
manifestly be conceived in terms of the kind of Being which that entity 
possesses. Dasein is essentially not a Being-present-at-hand ; and its 
"spatiality" cannot signify anything like occurrence at a position in 
'world-space', nor can it signify Being-ready-to-hand at some place. Both 
of these are kinds of Being which belong to entities encountered within- 
the- world. Dasein, however, is 'in' the world in the sense that it deals 
with entities encountered within-the-world, and does so concernfully and 
with familiarity. So if spatiality belongs to it in any way, that is possible 
only because of this Being-in. But its spatiality shows the characters of 
de-severance and directionality, 2 

1 'Sie wird sclbst nur sichtbar in der Weise des Auffallens bei einem umsichtigen 
Entdecken des Zuhandenen und zwar in den defizienten Modi des Besorgens. , This 
sentence too is ambiguous. The pronoun 'Sie* may refer either to the region, as we have 
suggested, or to its readiness-to-hand. Furthermore, while we have taken 'nur sichtbar in 
der Weise des Auffallens' as a unit, it is possible that 'in der Weise des AufFallens' 
should be construed as going with the words that follow. In this case we should read: 
'. . ♦ becomes visible only when it becomes conspicuous in our circumspective discovery 
of the ready- to-hand, and indeed in the deficient modes of concern.' 

2 'Ent-fernung und Ausricktung.' The nouns 'Entfernung' and 'Entfernheit* can usually be 
translated by 'removing', 'removal', 'remoteness', or even 'distance*. In this passage, 
however, Heidegger is calling attention to the fact that these words are derived from the 
stem 'fern-' ('far' or 'distant') and the privative prefix 'ent-'. Usually this prefix would be 
construed as merely intensifying the notion of separation or distance expressed in the 
'fern-' ; but Heidegger chooses to construe it as more strictly privative, so that the verb 
'entfernen' will be taken to mean abolishing a distance or farness rather than enhancing it. 
It is as if by the very act of recognizing the 'remoteness' of something, we have in a sense 
brought it closer and made it less 'remote'. 

Apparently there is no word in English with an etymological structure quite parallel 

I. 3 Being and Time 139 

When we speak of deseverance as a kind of Being which Dasein has with 
regard to its Being-in-the-world, we do not understand by it any such 
thing as remoteness (or closeness) or even a distance. 1 We use the expres- 
sion * 'deseverance"* in a signification which is both active and transitive. 
It stands for a constitutive state of Dasein's Being — a state with regard 
to which removing something in the sense of putting it away is only a 
determinate factical mode. "De-severing"* amounts to making the farness 
vanish — that is, making the remoteness of something disappear, bringing 
it close. 2 Dasein is essentially de-severant: it lets any entity be encountered 
close by as the entity which it is. De-severance discovers remoteness; and 
remoteness, like distance, is a determinate categorial characteristic of 
entities whose nature is not that of Dasein. De-severance*, however, is 
an existentiale; this must be kept in mind. Only to the extent that entities 
are revealed for Dasein in their deseveredness [Entferntheit], do 'remote- 
nesses' ["Entfernungen"] and distances with regard to other things 
become accessible in entities within-the-world themselves. Two points are 
just as little desevered from one another as two Things, for neither of these 
types of entity has the kind of Being which would make it capable of 
desevering. They merely have a measurable distance between them, 
which we can come across in our de-severing. 

Proximally and for the most part, de-severing 3 is a circumspective 

to that of 'entfernen' ; perhaps 'dissever' comes the nearest, for this too is a verb of separa- 
tion in which a privative prefix is used as an intensive. We have coined the similar verb 
'desever' in the hope that this will suggest Heidegger's meaning when 'remove' and its 
derivatives seem inappropriate. But with 'desever', one cannot slip back and forth from 
one sense to another as easily as one can with 'entfernen'; so we have resorted to the 
expedient of using both 'desever' and 'remove' and their derivatives, depending upon the 
sense we feel is intended. Thus 'entfernen' will generally be rendered by 'remove' or 
'desever', 'entfernt' by 'remote' or 'desevered'. Since Heidegger is careful to distinguish 
*Entfernung' and 'Entferntheit', we shall usually translate these by 'deseverance' and 
'remoteness' respectively; in the few cases where these translations do not seem appro- 
priate, we shall subjoin the German word in brackets. 

Our problem is further complicated by Heidegger's practise of occasionally putting a 
hyphen after the prefix 'ent-', presumably to emphasize its privative character. In such 
cases we shall write 'de-sever', 'de-severance', etc. Unfortunately, however, there are 
typographical discrepancies between the earlier and later editions. Some of the earlier 
hyphens occur at the ends of lines and have been either intentionally or inadvertently 
omitted in resetting the type; some appear at the end of the line in the later editions, but 
not in the earlier ones; others have this position in both editions. We shall indicate each 
of these ambiguous cases with an asterisk, supplying a hyphen only if there seems to be a 
good reason for doing so. 

On 'Ausrichtung* see our note 2, p. 135, H. 102 above. 

1 'Abstand'. Heidegger uses three words which might be translated as 'distance' : 
'Feme' (our 'farness'), 'Entfernung' (our 'deseverance'), and 'Abstand' ('distance' in the 
sense of a measurable interval). We shall reserve 'distance' for 'Abstand'. 

8 'Entfernen* besagt ein Verschwindenmachen der Feme, d. h. der Entferntheit von 
etwas, Naherung.' 

8 This hyphen is found only in the later editions. 

140 Being and Time I. 3 

bringing-close — bringing something close by, in the sense of procuring it, 
putting it in readiness, having it to hand. But certain ways in which 
entities are discovered in a purely cognitive manner also have the character 
of bringing them close. In Dasein there lies an essential tendency towards 
closeness. All the ways in which we speed things up, as we are more or less 
compelled to do today, push us on towards the conquest of remoteness. 
With the 'radio', for example, Dasein has so expanded its everyday 
environment that it has accomplished a de-severance of the 'world* — 
a de-severance which, in its meaning for Dasein, cannot yet be 

De-severing does not necessarily imply any explicit estimation of the 
farness of something ready-to-hand in relation to Dasein. Above all, 
remoteness* never gets taken as a distance. If farness is to be estimated, 
this is done relatively to deseverances in which everyday Dasein maintains 
itself. Though these estimates may be imprecise and variable if we try 
to compute them, in the everydayness of Dasein they have their own 
definiteness which is thoroughly intelligible. We say that to go over yonder 
is "a good walk", "a stone's throw", or 'as long as it takes to smoke a 
pipe*. These measures express not only that they are not intended to 
'measure' anything but also that the remoteness* here estimated belongs 
to some entity to which one goes with concernful circumspection. But 
even when we avail ourselves of a fixed measure and say 'it is half an hour 
to the house', this measure must be taken as an estimate. 'Half an hour* 
is not thirty minutes, but a duration [Dauer] which has no 'length' at 
all in the sense of a quantitative stretch. Such a duration is always inter- 
preted in terms of well-accustomed everyday ways in which we 'make 
provision' ["Besorgungen"]. Remotenesses* are estimated proximally by 
circumspection, even when one is quite familiar with 'officially' calcu- 
lated measures. Since what is de-severed in such estimates is ready-to- 
hand, it retains its character as specifically within-the-world. This even 
implies that the pathways we take towards desevered entities in the 
course of our dealings will vary in their length from day to day. What 
is ready-to-hand in the environment is certainly not present-at-hand 
for an eternal observer exempt from Dasein: but it is encountered 
in Dasein's circumspectively concernful everydayness. As Dasein 
goes along its ways, it does not measure off a stretch of space 
as a corporeal Thing which is present-at-hand; it does not 'devour 
the kilometres'; bringing-close or de-severance is always a kind of con- 
cernful Being towards what is brought close and de-severed. A pathway 
which is long 'Objectively* can be much shorter than one which is 
'Objectively' shorter still but which is perhaps 'hard going' and comes 

I. 3 Being and Time 141 

before us 1 as interminably long. Yet only in thus 1 coming before us' 1 is the 
current world authentically ready-to-hand. The Objective distances of Things 
present-at-hand do not coincide with the remoteness and closeness of 
what is ready-to-hand within-the-world. Though we may know these 
distances exactly, this knowledge still remains blind; it does not have the 
function of discovering the environment circumspectively and bringing it 
close; this knowledge is used only in and for a concernful Being which 
does not measure stretches — a Being towards the world that 'matters' to 
one [. . . Sein zu der einen "angehenden" Welt]. 

When one is oriented beforehand towards 'Nature' and 'Objectively' 
measured distances of Things, one is inclined to pass off such estimates 
and interpretations of deseverance as 'subjective'. Yet this 'subjectivity' 
perhaps uncovers the 'Reality' of the world at its most Real; it has nothing 
to do with 'subjective' arbitrariness or subjectivistic 'ways of taking' an 
entity which 'in itself is otherwise. The circumspective de-severing of Dasein's 
everydayness reveals the Being-in-itself of the 'true world 9 — of that entity which 
Dasein, as something existing, is already alongside. 2 

When one is primarily and even exclusively oriented towards remote- 
nesses as measured distances, the primordial spatiality of Being-in is 
concealed. That which is presumably 'closest' is by no means that which 
is at the smallest distance 'from us'. It lies in that which is desevered to an 
average extent when we reach for it, grasp it, or look at it. Because Dasein 
is essentially spatial in the way of de-severance, its dealings always keep 
within an 'environment' which is desevered from it with a certain leeway 
[Spielraum] ; accordingly our seeing and hearing always go proximally 
beyond what is distantially 'closest'. Seeing and hearing are distance- 
senses [Fernsinne] not because they are far-reaching, but because it is in 
them that Dasein as deseverant mainly dwells. When, for instance, a man 
wears a pair of spectacles which are so close to him distantially that they 
are 'sitting on his nose', they are environmentally more remote from him 
than the picture on the opposite wall. Such equipment has so little 
closeness that often it is proximally quite impossible to find. Equipment 
for seeing — and likewise for hearing, such as the telephone receiver — has 
what we have designated as the inconspicuousness of the proximally ready- 
to-hand. So too, for instance, does the street, as equipment for walking. 
One feels the touch of it at every step as one walks; it is seemingly the 
closest and Realest of all that is ready-to-hand, and it slides itself, as it 

1 'vorkommt'; * "Vorkommen" \ In general Vorkommen' may be translated as 
'occur 1 , and is to be thought of as applicable strictly to the present-at-hand. In this 
passage, however, it is applied to the ready-to-hand; and a translation which calls 
attention to its etymological structure seems to be called for. 

2 l Das umsichtige Ent-fernen der Alltdglichkeit des Daseins entdeckt das An-sich-sein der "wahren 
Welt", des Seienden, bet dem Dasein als existierendes je schon ist. y 

142 Being and Time I. 3 

were, along certain portions of one's body — the soles of one's feet. And 
yet it is farther remote than the acquaintance whom one encounters 'on 
the street' at a 'remoteness' ["Entfernung"] of twenty paces when one is 
taking such a walk. Circumspective concern decides as to the closeness 
and farness of what is proximally ready-to-hand environmentally. What- 
ever this concern dwells alongside beforehand is what is closest, and this 
is what regulates our de-severances. 

If Dasein, in its concern, brings something close by, this does not signify 
that it fixes something at a spatial position with a minimal distance from 
some point of the body. When something is close by, this means that it is 
within the range of what is proximally ready-to-hand for circumspection. 
Bringing-close is not oriented towards the I-Thing encumbered with a 
body, but towards concernful Being-in-the-world — that is, towards what- 
ever is proximally encountered in such Being. It follows, moreover, that 
Dasein's spatiality is not to be defined by citing the position at which 
some corporeal Thing is present-at-hand. Of course we say that even 
Dasein always occupies a place. But this 'occupying' must be distinguished 
in principle from Being-ready-to-hand at a place in some particular 
region. Occupying a place must be conceived as a desevering of the 
environmentally ready-to-hand into a region which has been circumspec- 
tively discovered in advance. Dasein understands its "here" [Hier] in 
terms of its environmental "yonder". The "here" does not mean the 
"where" of some thing present-at-hand, but rather the "whereat" [Wobei] 
of a de-severant Being-alongside, together with this de-severance. Dasein, 
in accordance with its spatiality, is proximally never here but yonder; 
from this "yonder" it comes back to its "here"; and it comes back to its 
"here" only in the way in which it interprets its concernful Being- 
towards in terms of what is ready-to-hand yonder. This becomes quite 
plain if we consider a certain phenomenal peculiarity of the de-severance 
structure of Being-in. 

As Being-in-the-world, Dasein maintains itself essentially in a de- 
severing. This de-severance — the farness of the ready- to-hand from Dasein 
itself — is something that Dasein can never cross over. Of course the remote- 
ness of something ready-to-hand from Dasein can show up as a distance 
from it, 1 if this remoteness is determined by a relation to some Thing 
which gets thought of as present-at-hand at the place Dasein has formerly 
occupied. Dasein can subsequently traverse the "between" of this distance, 
but only in such a way that the distance itself becomes one which has been 
desevered*. So little has Dasein crossed over its de-severance that 
it has rather taken it along with it and keeps doing so constantly; for 
1 . . kann zwar selbst von diesem als Abstand vorfindlich werden . . .* 

I. 3 Being and Time 143 

Dasein is essentially de-severance — that is, it is spatial. It cannot wander about 
within the current range of its de-severances; it can never do more than 
change them. Dasein is spatial in that it discovers space circumspectively, 
so that indeed it constantly comports itself de-severantly* towards the 
entities thus spatially encountered. 

As de-severant Being-in, Dasein has likewise the character of direction- 
ality. Every bringing-close [Naherung] has already taken in advance a 
direction towards a region outof which what is de-severed brings itself close 
[sich nahert], so that one can come across it with regard to its place. Circum- 
spective concern is de-severing which gives directionality. In this concern 
— that is, in the Being-in-the-world of Dasein itself— a supply of 'signs' is 
presented. Signs, as equipment, take over the giving of directions in a way 
which is explicit and easily manipulable. They keep explicitly open those 
regions which have been used circumspectively — the particular "whithers" 
to which something belongs or goes, or gets brought or fetched. If Dasein 
ty, it already has, as directing and desevering, its own discovered region. 
Both directionality and de-severance, as modes of Being-in-the-world, 
are guided beforehand by the circumspection of concern. 

Out of this directionality arise the fixed directions of right and left. 
Dasein constantly takes these directions along with it, just as it does its 
de-severances. Dasein's spatialization in its 'bodily nature' is likewise 
marked out in accordance with these directions. (This 'bodily nature' 
hides a whole problematic of its own, though we shall not treat it here.) 
Thus things which are ready-to-hand and used for the body — like gloves, 
for example, which are to move with the hands — must be given direction- 
ality towards right and left. A craftsman's tools, however, which are held 
in the hand and are moved with it, do not share the hand's specifically 
'manual' ["handliche"] movements. So although hammers are handled 
just as much with the hand as gloves are, there are no right- or left- 
handed hammers. 

One must notice, however, that the directionality which belongs to 
de-severance is founded upon Being-in-the-world. Left and right are not 
something 'subjective' for which the subject has a feeling; they are direc- 
tions of one's directedness into a world that is ready-to-hand already. 'By 
the mere feeling of a difference between my two sides' xxi I could never 
find my way about in a world. The subject with a 'mere feeling' of this 
difference is a construct posited in disregard of the state that is truly 
constitutive for any subject — namely, that whenever Dasein has such a 
'mere feeling', it is in a world already and must be in it to be able to orient 
itself at all. This becomes plain from the example with which Kant tries 
to clarify the phenomenon of orientation. 

144 Being and Time I. 3 

Suppose I step into a room which is familiar to me but dark, and which 
has been rearranged [umgeraumt] during my absence so that everything 
which used to be at my right is now at my left. If I am to orient myself 
the 'mere feeling of the difference' between my two sides will be of no 
help at all as long as I fail to apprehend some definite object 'whose 
position', as Kant remarks casually, 'I have in mind\ But what does this 
signify except that whenever this happens I necessarily orient myself both 
in and from my being already alongside a world which is 'familiar' P 1 The 
equipment-context of a world must have been presented to Dasein. That 
I am already in a world is no less constitutive for the possibility of orienta- 
tion than is the feeling for right and left. While this state of Dasein's 
Being is an obvious one, we are not thereby justified in suppressing the 
ontologically constitutive role which it plays. Even Kant does not suppress 
it, any more than any other Interpretation of Dasein. Yet the fact that 
this is a state of which we constantly make use, does not exempt us from 
providing a suitable ontological explication, but rather demands one. 
The psychological Interpretation according to which the "I" has some- 
thing 'in the memory' ["im Gedachtnis"] is at bottom a way of alluding to 
the existentially constitutive state of Being-in-the-world. Since Kant fails to 
1 10 see this structure, he also fails to recognize all the interconnections which 
the Constitution of any possible orientation implies. Directedness with 
regard to right and left is based upon the essential directionality of Dasein 
in general, and this directionality in turn is essentially co-determined by 
Being-in-the-world. Even Kant, of course, has not taken orientation as a 
theme for Interpretation. He merely wants to show that every orientation 
requires a 'subjective principle'. Here 'subjective' is meant to signify 
that this principle is a priori. 2 Nevertheless, the a priori character of directed- 
ness with regard to right and left is based upon the 'subjective' a priori of 
Being-in-the-world, which has nothing to do with any determinate 
character restricted beforehand to a worldless subject. 

De-severance and directionality, as constitutive characteristics of Being- 
in, are determinative for Dasein's spatiality — for its being concernfully 
and circumspectively in space, in a space discovered and within- the-world. 
Only the explication we have just given for the spatiality of the ready-to- 
hand within-the-world and the spatiality of Being-in-the-world, will 
provide the prerequisites for working out the phenomenon of the world's 
spatiality and formulating the ontological problem of space. 

1 . . in und aus einem je schon sein bei einer "bekannten" Welt.' The earlier editions 
have 'Sein' for 'sein*. 

2 Here we follow the later editions in reading*. . . bedeuten wollen: a priori.' The 
earlier editions omit the colon, making the passage ambiguous. 

I. 3 Being and Time 145 

24. Space and Dasein's Spatiality 

As Being-in-the-world, Dasein has already discovered a 'world' at any 
time. This discovery, which is founded upon the worldhood of the world, 
is one which we have characterized as freeing entities for a totality of 
involvements. Freeing something and letting it be involved, is accom- 
plished by way of referring or assigning oneself circumspectively, and this 
in turn is based upon one's previously understanding significance. We 
have now shown that circumspective Being-in-the-world is spatial. And 
only because Dasein is spatial in the way of de-severance and directionality 
can what is ready-to-hand within-the-world be encountered in its spat- 
iality. To free a totality of involvements is, equiprimordially, to let some- 
thing be involved at a region, and to do so by de-severing and giving 
directionality; this amounts to freeing the spatial belonging-somewhere of 
the ready- to-hand. In that significance with which Dasein (as concernful 
Being-in) is familiar, lies the essential co-disclosedness of space. 1 

The space which is thus disclosed with the worldhood of the world still 
lacks the pure multiplicity of the three dimensions. In this disclosedness 
which is closest to us, space, as the pure "wherein" in which positions are 
ordered by measurement and the situations of things are determined, still 
remains hidden. In the phenomenon of the region we have already indi- 
cated that on the basis of which space is discovered beforehand in Dasein. 
By a 'region" we have understood the "whither" to which an equipment- 
context ready-to-hand might possibly belong, when that context is of 
such a sort that it can be encountered as directionally desevered — that 
is, as having been placed. 2 This belongingness [Gehorigkeit] is determined 1 1 1 
in terms of the significance which is constitutive for the world, and it 
Articulates the "hither" and "thither" within the possible "whither". In 
general the "whither" gets prescribed by a referential totality which has 
been made fast in a "for-the-sake-of-which" of concern, and within which 
letting something be involved by freeing it, assigns itself. With anything 
encountered as ready-to-hand there is always an involvement in [bei] a 
region. To the totality of involvements which makes up the Being of the 
ready-to-hand within-the-world, there belongs a spatial involvement 
which has the character of a region. By reason of such an involvement, 
the ready-to-hand becomes something which we can come across and 
ascertain as having form and direction. 3 With the factical Being of 

1 . . die wesenhafte Miterschlossenheit des Rauraes.' 

2 *Wir verstehen sie als das Wohin der moglichen Zugehorigkeit des zuhandenen 
Zeugzusammenhanges, der als ausgerichtet entfernter, d. h. platzierter soli begegnen 

3 'Auf deren Grunde wird das Zuhandene nach Form und Richtung vorfindlich und 
bestimmbar*. The earliest editions have 'erfindlich', which has been corrected to Vor- 
findlich* in a list of errata. 

146 Being and Time I. 3 

Dasein, what is ready- to-hand wi thin- 1 he-world is desevered* and given 
directionality, depending upon the degree of transparency that is possible 
for concernful circumspection. 

When we let entities within-the-world be encountered in the way which 
is constitutive for Being-in-the-world, we 'give them space 5 . This 'giving 
space 5 , which we also call 'making room 9 for them, 1 consists in freeing 
the ready- to-hand for its spatiality. As a way of discovering and presenting 
a possible totality of spaces determined by involvements, this making- 
room is what makes possible one's factical orientation at the time. In 
concerning itself circumspectively with the world, Dasein can move 
things around or out of the way or 'make room 5 for them [um — , weg — , 
und ''einraumen"] only because making-room — understood as an exist- 
ential* — belongs to its Being-in-the-world. But neither the region pre- 
viously discovered nor in general the current spatiality is explicitly in 
view. In itself it is present [zugegen] for circumspection in the inconspicu- 
ousness of those ready-to-hand things in which that circumspection is 
concernfully absorbed. With Being-in-the-world, space is proximally 
discovered in this spatiality. On the basis of the spatiality thus discovered, 
space itself becomes accessible for cognition. 

Space is not in the subject, nor is the world in space. Space is rather 'in 5 the 
world in so far as space has been disclosed by that Being-in-the-world 
which is constitutive for Dasein. Space is not to be found in the subject, 
nor does the subject observe the world 'as if 5 that world were in a space; 
but the 'subject 5 (Dasein), if well understood ontologically, is spatial. And 
because Dasein is spatial in the way we have described, space shows itself 
as a priori. This term does not mean anything like previously belonging 
to a subject which is proximally still worldless and which emits a space 
out of itself. Here "apriority" means the previousness with which space 
has been encountered (as a region) whenever the ready-to-hand is en- 
countered environmentally. 

The spatiality of what we proximally encounter in circumspection can 
become a theme for circumspection itself, as well as a task for calculation 
1 1 2 and measurement, as in building and surveying. Such thematization of 
the spatiality of the environment is still predominantly an act of circum- 
spection by which space in itself already comes into view in a certain way. 
The space which thus shows itself can be studied purely by looking at it, 
if one gives up what was formerly the only possibility of access to it — 
circumspective calculation. When space is 'intuited formally 5 , the pure 

1 Both 'Raum-geben' (our 'giving space') and 'Einraumen' (our 'making room') are 
often used in the metaphorical sense of 'yielding', 'granting', or 'making concessions'. 
'Einraumen' may also be used for 'arranging' furniture, 'moving it in', or 'stowing it 

I. 3 Being and Time 147 

possibilities of spatial relations are discovered. Here one may go through 
a series of stages in laying bare pure homogeneous space, passing from the 
pure morphology of spatial shapes to analysis situs and finally to the 
purely metrical science of space. In our present study we shall not consider 
how all these are interconnected. xxli Our problematic is merely designed 
to establish ontologically the phenomenal basis upon which one can 
take the discovery of pure space as a theme for investigation, and work 
it out. 

When space is discovered non-circumspectively by just looking at it, 
the environmental regions get neutralized to pure dimensions. Places — 
and indeed the whole circumspectively oriented totality of places belong- 
ing to equipment ready-to-hand — get reduced to a multiplicity of posi- 
tions for random Things. The spatiality of what is ready-to-hand within- 
the-world loses its involvement-character, and so does the ready-to-hand. 
The world loses its specific aroundness; the environment becomes the 
world of Nature. The 'world 5 , as a totality of equipment ready-to-hand, 
becomes spatialized [verraumlicht] to a context of extended Things which 
are just present-at-hand and no more. The homogeneous space of Nature 
shows itself only when the entities we encounter are discovered in such 
a way that the worldly character of the ready-to-hand gets specifically 
deprived of its worldhood. 1 

In accordance with its Being-in-the-world, Dasein always has space 
presented as already discovered, though not thematically. On the other 
hand, space in itself, so far as it embraces the mere possibilities of the pure 
spatial Being of something, remains proximally still concealed. The fact that 
space essentially shows itself in a world is not yet decisive for the kind of Being 
which it possesses. It need not have the kind of Being characteristic of some- 
thing which is itself spatially ready-to-hand or present-at-hand. Nor does 
the Being of space have the kind of Being which belongs to Dasein. Though 
the Being of space itself cannot be conceived as the kind of Being which 
belongs to a res extensa, it does not follow that it must be defined onto- 
logically as a 'phenomenon 5 of such a res. (In its Being, it would not be 
distinguished from such a res.) Nor does it follow that the Being of space 
can be equated to that of the res cogitans and conceived as merely 'subjec- 
tive 5 , quite apart from the questionable character of the Being of such a 

The Interpretation of the Being of space has hitherto been a matter of 
perplexity, not so much because we have been insufficiently acquainted 
with the content of space itself as a thing [des Sachgehaltes des Raumes 

1 . . die den Charakter einer spezifischen Entweltlichung der Weltmassigkeit des 
Zuhandenen hat.' 

Being and Time 


sclbst], as because the possibilities of Being in general have not been in 
principle transparent, and an Interpretation of them in terms of onto- 
logical concepts has been lacking. If we are to understand the ontological 
problem of space, it is of decisive importance that the question of Being 
must be liberated from the narrowness of those concepts of Being which 
merely chance to be available and which are for the most part rather 
rough; and the problematic of the Being of space (with regard to that 
phenomenon itself and various phenomenal spatialities) must be turned 
in such a direction as to clarify the possibilities of Being in general. 

In the phenomenon of space the primary ontological character of the 
Being of entities within-the-world is not to be found, either as unique or 
as one among others. Still less does space constitute the phenomenon of 
the world. Unless we go back to the world, space cannot be conceived. 
Space becomes accessible only if the environment is deprived of its world- 
hood; and spatiality is not discoverable at all except on the basis of the 
world. Indeed space is still one of the things that is constitutive for the 
world, just as Dasein's own spatiality is essential to its basic state of Being- 
in-the-world. 1 

1 \ . . so zwar, dass der Raum die Welt doch mt/konstituiert, entsprechend der wesen- 
haften Raumlichkeit des Daseins selbst hinsichtlich seiner Grundverfassung des In-der- 



Our analysis of the worldhood of the world has constantly been bringing 
the whole phenomenon of Being-in-the-world into view, although its 
constitutive items have not all stood out with the same phenomenal dis- 
tinctness as the phenomenon of the world itself. We have Interpreted the 
world ontologically by going through what is ready-to-hand within-the- 
world; and this Interpretation has been put first, because Dasein, in its 
everydayness (with regard to which Dasein remains a constant theme for 
study), not only is in a world but comports itself towards that world with 
one predominant kind of Being. Proximally and for the most part Dasein 
is fascinated with its world. Dasein is thus absorbed in the world; the kind 
of Being which it thus possesses, and in general the Being-in which under- 
lies it, are essential in determining the character of a phenomenon which 
we agre now about to study. We shall approach this phenomenon by asking 
who it is that Dasein is in its everydayness. All the structures of Being which 
belong to Dasein, together with the phenomenon which provides the 
answer to this question of the "who", are ways of its Being. To characterize 
these ontologically is to do so existentially. We must therefore pose the 
question correcdy and outline the procedure for bringing into view a 
broader phenomenal domain of Dasein's everydayness. By directing our 
researches towards the phenomenon which is to provide us with an answer 
to the question of the "who", we shall be led to certain structures of Dasein 
which are equiprimordial with Being-in-the-world : Being-with and Dasein- 
with [Mitsein und Mitdasein]. In this kind of Being is grounded the mode 
of everyday Being-one's-Self [Selbstsein] ; the explication of this mode will 

1 'Das Man'. In German one may write 'man glaubt' where in French one would 
write *on croit\ or in English 'they believe', 'one believes', or 'it is believed'. But the 
German 'man' and the French 'on' are specialized for such constructions in a way in 
which the pronouns 'they', 'one', and 'it' are not. There is accordingly no single idiomatic 
translation for the German 'man' which will not sometimes lend itself to ambiguity, and 
in general we have chosen whichever construction seems the most appropriate in its 
context. But when Heidegger introduces this word with a definite article and writes 'das 
Man', as he does very often in this chapter, we shall translate this expression as 'the 
"they" ', trusting that the reader will not take this too literally. 

150 Being and Time I. 4 

enable us to see whatwe may call the 'subject' of everydayness — the "they". 
Our chapter on the 'who' of the average Dasein will thus be divided up 
as follows: 1. an approach to the existential question of the ' 'who" of 
Dasein (Section 25) ; 2. the Dasein-with of Others, and everyday Being-with 
(Section 26); 3. everyday Being-one's-Self and the "they" (Section 27). 
% 2 j. An Approach to the Existential Question of the" Who" of Dasein 

The answer to the question of who Dasein is, is one that was seemingly 
given in Section 9, where we indicated formally the basic characteristics 
of Dasein. Dasein is an entity which is in each case I myself; its Being is 
in each case mine. This definition indicates an ontologically constitutive state, 
but it does no more than indicate it. At the same time this tells us ontically 
(though in a rough and ready fashion) that in each case an "I" — not 
Others — is this entity. The question of the "who" answers itself in terms 
of the "I" itself, the 'subject', the 'Self'. 1 The "who" is what maintains 
itself as something identical throughout changes in its Experiences and 
ways of behaviour, and which relates itself to this changing multiplicity 
in so doing. Ontologically we understand it as something which is in 
each case already constantly present-at-hand, both in and for a closed 
realm, and which lies at the basis, in a very special sense, as the subjectum. 
As something selfsame in manifold otherness, 2 it has the character of the 
Self Even if one rejects the "soul substance" and the Thinghood of con- 
sciousness, or denies that a person is an object, ontologically one is still 
positing something whose Being retains the meaning of present-at-hand, 
whether it does so explicitly or not. Substantiality is the ontological clue 
for determining which entity is to provide the answer to the question of 
the "who". Dasein is tacitly conceived in advance as something present- 
at-hand. This meaning of Being is always implicated in any case where 
the Being of Dasein has been left indefinite. Yet presence-at-hand is the 
kind of Being which belongs to entities whose character is not that of Dasein. 

The assertion that it is I who in each case Dasein is, is ontically obvious; 
but this must not mislead us into supposing that the route for an onto- 
logical Interpretation of what is 'given' in this way has thus been unmis- 
takably prescribed. Indeed it remains questionable whether even the mere 
ontical content of the above assertion does proper justice to the stock of 
phenomena belonging to everyday Dasein. It could be that the "who" of 
everyday Dasein just is not the "I myself". 

1 'dem "Selbst" '. While we shall ordinarily translate the intensive 'selbst' by the corre- 
sponding English intensives 'itself, 'oneself*, 'myself*, etc., according to the context, we 
shall translate the substantive 'Selbst* by the substantive 'Self with a capital. 

2 '. . . als Selbiges in der vielfaltigen Andersheit . . .* While the words 'identisch* and 
*selbig' are virtually synonyms in ordinary German, Heidegger seems to be intimating a 
distinction between them. We shall accordingly translate the former by 'identical* and the 
latter by 'selfsame* to show its etymological connection with 'selbst*. Cf. H. 130 below. 

I- 4 Being and Time igi 

If, in arriving at ontico-ontological assertions, one is to exhibit the 
phenomena in terms of the kind of Being which the entities themselves 
possesses, and if this way of exhibiting them is to retain its priority over 
even the most usual and obvious of answers and over whatever ways of 
formulating problems may have been derived from those answers, then 
the phenomenological Interpretation of Dasein must be defended against 
a perversion of our problematic when we come to the question we are 
about to formulate. 

But is it not contrary to the rules of all sound method to approach a 
problematic without sticking to what is given as evident in the area of 
our theme? And what is more indubitable than the givenness of the "I" ? 
And does not this givenness tell us that if we aim to work this out prim- 
ordially, we must disregard everything else that is 'given' — not only a 
'world' that is [einer seienden "Welt"], but even the Being of other Ts? 
The kind of "giving" we have here is the mere, formal, reflective 
awareness of the "I"; and perhaps what it gives is indeed evident. 1 This 
insight even affords access to a phenomenological problematic in its own 
right, which has in principle the signification of providing a framework 
as a 'formal phenomenology of consciousness'. 

In this context of an existential analytic of factical Dasein, the question 
arises whether giving the "I" in the way we have mentioned discloses 
Dasein in its everydayness, if it discloses Dasein at all. Is it then obvious 
a priori that access to Dasein must be gained only by mere reflective 
awareness of the "I" of actions? What if this kind of 'giving-itself on 
the part of Dasein should lead our existential analytic astray and do so, 
indeed, in a manner grounded in the Being of Dasein itself? Perhaps when 
Dasein addresses itself in the way which is closest to itself, it always says 
"I am this entity", and in the long run says this loudest when it is 'not' 
this entity. Dasein is in each case mine, and this is its constitution; but 
what if this should be the very reason why, proximally and for the most 
part, Dasein tr not itself? What if the aforementioned approach, starting 
with the givenness of the "I" to Dasein itself, and with a rather patent self- 
interpretation of Dasein, should lead the existential analytic, as it were, 
into a pitfall? If that which is accessible by mere "giving" can be deter- 
mined, there is presumably an ontological horizon for determining it; 
but what if this horizon should remain in principle undetermined ? It may 
well be that it is always ontically correct to say of this entity that T am it. 
Yet the ontological analytic which makes use of such assertions must make 
certain reservations about them in principle. The word T is to be 

1 *Vielleicht ist in der Tat das, was diese Art von Gebung, das schlichte, formale, 
reflektive Ichvernehmen gibt, evident.' 

15a Being and Time I. 4 

understood only in the sense of a non-committal formal indicator, indicating 
something which may perhaps reveal itself as its 'opposite 5 in some parti- 
cular phenomenal context of Being. In that case, the 'not-F is by no means 
tantamount to an entity which essentially lacks 'I~hood' ["Ichheit"], 
but is rather a definite kind of Being which the T itself possesses, such as 
having lost itself [Selbstverlorenheit] . 

Yet even the positive Interpretation of Dasein which we have so far 
given, already forbids us to start with the formal givenness of the "I", if our 
purpose is to answer the question of the "who" in a way which is pheno- 
menally adequate. In clarifying Being-in-the-world we have shown that 
a bare subject without a world never 'is' proximally, nor is it ever given. 
And so in the end an isolated "I" without Others is just as far from being 
proximally given. 1 If, however, 'the Others' already are there with us [mit 
dasind] in Being-in-the-world, and if this is ascertained phenomenally, even 
this should not mislead us into supposing that the ontological structure of 
what is thus 'given' is obvious, requiring no investigation. Our task is to 
make visible phenomenally the species to which this Dasein-with in closest 
everydayness belongs, and to Interpret it in a way which is ontologically 

Just as the ontical obviousness of the Being-in-itself of entities within- 
the-world misleads us into the conviction that the meaning of this Being 
is obvious ontologically, and makes us overlook the phenomenon of the 
world, the ontical obviousness of the fact that Dasein is in each case mine, 
also hides the possibility that the ontological problematic which belongs 
to it has been led astray. Proximally the "who" of Dasein is not only a 
problem ontologically ; even ontically it remains concealed. 

But does this mean that there are no clues whatever for answering the 
question of the "who" by way of existential analysis? Certainly not. Of 
the ways in which we formally indicated the constitution of Dasein's Being 
in Sections 9 and 12 above, the one we have been discussing does not, of 
course, function so well as such a clue as does the one according to which 
Dasein's 'Essence' is grounded in its existence. 1 If the 7' is an Essential 
characteristic of Dasein, then it is one which must be Interpreted exist entially. In 
that case the "Who?" is to be answered only by exhibiting phenomenally 
a definite kind of Being which Dasein possesses. If in each case Dasein is 
its Self only in existing, then the constancy of the Self no less than the 

1 *as such a clue': here we read 'als solcher', following the later editions. The earliest 
editions have 'als solche', which has been corrected in the list of errata. 

"Essence": while we ordinarily use 'essence* and 'essential* to translate 'Wesen' and 
'wesenhafi', wc shall use 'Essence' and '"Essential' (with initial capitals) to translate the 
presumably synonymous but far less frequent 'Essenz' and 'essentiell'. 

The two 'formal indications' to which Heidegger refers are to be found on H. 42 above. 

I. 4 Being and Time 153 

possibility of its 'failure to stand by itself' 1 requires that we formulate the 
question existentially and ontologically as the sole appropriate way of 
access to its problematic. 

But if the Self is conceived 'only' as a way of Being of this entity, this 
seems tantamount to volatilizing the real 'core' of Dasein. Any apprehen- 
siveness however which one may have about this gets its nourishment from 
the perverse assumption that the entity in question has at bottom the kind 
of Being which belongs to something present-at-hand, even if one is far 
from attributing to it the solidity of an occurrent corporeal Thing. Yet 
man's 'substance* is not spirit as a synthesis of soul and body ; it is rather 

U 26. The Dasein-with of Others and Everyday Being-with 

The answer to the question of the "who" of everyday Dasein is to be 
obtained by analysing that kind of Being in which Dasein maintains 
itself proximally and for the most part. Our investigation takes its orienta- 
tion from Being-in-the-world — that basic state of Dasein by which every 
mode of its Being gets co-determined. If we are correct in saying that by 
the foregoing explication of the world, the remaining structural items of 
Being-in-the-world have become visible, then this must also have prepared 
us, in a way, for answering the question of the "who". 

In our 'description' of that environment which is closest to us — the 
work-world of the craftsman, for example, — the outcome was that along 
with the equipment to be found when one is at work [in Arbeit], those 
Others for whom the 'work' ["Werk"] is destined are 'encountered too'. 2 
If this is ready- to-hand, then there lies in the kind of Being which 
belongs to it (that is, in its involvement) an essential assignment or reference 
to possible wearers, for instance, for whom it should be 'cut to the figure'. 
Similarly, when material is put to use, we encounter its producer or 
'supplier' as one who 'serves' well or badly. When, for example, we walk 
along the edge of a field but 'outside it', the field shows itself as belonging 
to such-and-such a person, and decently kept up by him; the book we 
have used was bought at So-and-so's shop and given by such-and-such 

1 '. . . die Standigkeit des Selbst ebensosehr wie seine mogliche "Unselbstandigkeit" . . 
The adjective 'standi^', which we have usually translated as 'constant' in the sense of 
'permanent' or 'continuing', goes back to the root meaning of 'standing', as do the 
adjectives 'selbstandig* ('independent') and 'unselbstandig' ('dependent'). These con- 
cepts will be discussed more fully in Section 64 below, especially H. 322, where 'Un- 
selbstandigkeit' will be rewritten not as 'Un-selbstandkeit' ('failure to stand by one's Self) 
but as 'Unselbst-standigkeit' ('constancy to the Unself). See also H. 128. (The connection 
with the concept of existence will perhaps be clearer if one recalls that the Latin verb 
'existere' may also be derived from a verb of standing, as Heidegger points out in his later 

2 Cf. Section 15 above, especially H. 7of. 

154 Being and Time I. 4 

a person, and so forth. The boat anchored at the shore is assigned in its 
Being-in-itself to an acquaintance who undertakes voyages with it; but 
even if it is a 'boat which is strange to us', it still is indicative of Others. 
The Others who are thus 'encountered' in a ready- to-hand, environ- 
mental context of equipment, are not somehow added on in thought to 
some Thing which is proximally just present-at-hand ; such 'Things' are 
encountered from out of the world in which they are ready-to-hand for 
Others — a world which is always mine too in advance. In our previous 
analysis, the range of what is encountered within-the-world was, in the 
first instance, narrowed down to equipment ready-to-hand or Nature 
present-at-hand, and thus to entities with a character other than that of 
Dasein. This restriction was necessary not only for the purpose of simpli- 
fying our explication but above all because the kind of Being which belongs 
to the Dasein of Others, as we encounter it within-the-world, differs from 
readiness- to-hand and presence-at-hand. Thus Dasein's world frees 
entities which not only are quite distinct from equipment and Things, but 
which also — in accordance with their kind of Being as Dasein themselves — 
are 'in' the world in which they are at the same time encountered within- 
the-world, and are 'in' it by way of Being-in-the-world. 1 These entities 
are neither present-at-hand nor ready- to-hand ; on the contrary, they are 
like the very Dasein which frees them, in that they are there too, and there 
with it. So if one should want to identify the world in general with 
entities within-the-world, one would have to say that Dasein too is 
'world'. 2 

Thus in characterizing the encountering of Others, one is again still 
oriented by that Dasein which is in each case one's own. But even in this 
characterization does one not start by marking out and isolating the T 
so that one must then seek some way of getting over to the Others from 
this isolated subject ? To avoid this misunderstanding we must notice in 
what sense we are talking about 'the Others'. By 'Others' we do not mean 
everyone else but me — those over against whom the "I" stands out. They 
are rather those from whom, for the most part, one does not distinguish 
oneself— those among whom one is too. This Being-there-too [Auch-da- 
sein] with them does not have the ontological character of a Being-present- 
at-hand-along-'with' them within a world. This 'with' is something of the 
character of Dasein; the 'too' means a sameness of Being as circum- 
spectively concernful Being-in-the-world. 'With' and 'too' are to be 

1 . . sondern gemasls seiner Seinsart cds Dasein selbst in der Weise des In-der-Welt- 
seins "in" der Welt ist, in der es zugleich innerweltlich begegnet.' 

2 'Dieses Seiende ist weder vorhanden noch zuhanden, sondern ist so, wie das freige- 
bende Dasein selbst — es ist auch und mit da. Wollte man denn schon Welt uberhaupt mit 
dem innerweltlich Seienden identifizieren, dann miisste man sagen, "Welt" ist auch 

I. 4 Being and Time 155 

understood existentially, not categorially. By reason of this with-like [mithqflen] 
Being-in-the-world, the world is always the one that I share with Others. 
The world of Dasein is a with-world [Mitwelt] . Being-in is Being-with 
Others. Their Being-in-themselves within-the-world is Dasein-with [Mit- 

When Others are encountered, it is not the case that one's own subject 
is proximally present-at-hand and that the rest of the subjects, which are 
likewise occurrents, get discriminated beforehand and then apprehended ; 
nor are they encountered by a primary act of looking at oneself in such 
a way that the opposite pole of a distinction first gets ascertained. They 
are encountered from out of the world, in which concernfully circumspec- 
tive Dasein essentially dwells. Theoretically concocted 'explanations' of 
the Being-present-at-hand of Others urge themselves upon us all too 
easily; but over against such explanations we must hold fast to the pheno- 
menal facts of the case which we have pointed out, namely, that Others 
are encountered environmentally. This elemental worldly kind of encounter- 
ing, which belongs to Dasein and is closest to it, goes so far that even one's 
own Dasein becomes something that it can itself proximally 'come across' 
only when it looks away from 'Experiences' and the 'centre of its actions', 
or does not as yet 'see' them at all. Dasein finds 'itself proximally in 
what it does, uses, expects, avoids — in those things environmentally ready- 
to-hand with which it is proximally concerned. 

And even when Dasein explicitly addresses itself as "I here", this 
locative personal designation must be understood in terms of Dasein's 
existential spatiality. In Interpreting this (See Section 23) we have 
already intimated that this "I-herc" does not mean a certain privileged 
point — that of an I-Thing — but is to be understood as Bcing-in in terms 
of the "yonder" of the world that is ready-to-hand — the "yonder" which 
is the dwelling-place of Dasein as concern. 1 

W. von Humboldt 11 has alluded to certain languages which express the 
T by 'here', the 'thou' by 'there', the 'he' by 'yonder', thus rendering the 
personal pronouns by locative adverbs, to put it grammatically. It is con- 
troversial whether indeed the primordial signification of locative expres- 
sions is adverbial or pronominal. But this dispute loses its basis if one 
notes that locative adverbs have a relationship to the "I" qua Dasein. The 
'here' and the 'there' and the 'yonder' are primarily not mere ways of 
designating the location of entities present-at-hand within-the-world at 
positions in space; they are rather characteristics of Dasein's primordial 

1 \ . . dass dieses Ich-hier nicht cinen ausgezeichneten Punkt des Ichdinges meint, 
sondern sich versteht als In-sein aus dem Dort der zuhandenen Welt, bei dem Dasein 
als Besorgen sich aufhalt.* The older editions have Un-Sein* for 'In-sein*, and Mabei' for 
'bei dem\ 

156 Being and Time I. 4 

spatiality. These supposedly locative adverbs are Dasein-designations; 
they have a signification which is primarily existential, not categorial. 
But they are not pronouns either; their signification is prior to the differ- 
entiation of locative adverbs and personal pronouns : these expressions 
have a Dasein-signification which is authentically spatial, and which 
serves as evidence that when we interpret Dasein without any theoretical 
120 distortions we can see it immediately as 'Being-alongside' the world with 
which it concerns itself, and as Being-alongside it spatially — that is to say, 
as desevering* and giving directionality. In the 'here', the Dasein which is 
absorbed in its world speaks not towards itself but away from itself towards 
the 'yonder' of something circumspectively ready- to-hand ; yet it still has 
itself in view in its existential spatiality. 

Dasein understands itself proximally and for the most part in terms of 
its world; and the Dasein-with of Others is often encountered in terms of 
what is ready-to-hand within-the- world. But even if Others become 
themes for study, as it were, in their own Dasein, they are not encountered 
as person-Things present-at-hand : we meet them 'at work 5 , that is, pri- 
marily in their Being-in-the-world. Even if we see the Other 'just standing 
around', he is never apprehended as a human-Thing present-at-hand, but 
his 'standing-around' is an existential mode of Being— an unconcerned, 
uncircumspective tarrying alongside everything and nothing [Verweilen 
bei Allem und Keinem]. The Other is encountered in his Dasein-with 
in the world. 

The expression 'Dasein', however, shows plainly that 'in the first 
instance' this entity is unrelated to Others, and that of course it can still 
be 'with' Others afterwards. Yet one must not fail to notice that we 
use the term "Dasein-with" to designate that Being for which the 
Others who are [die seienden Anderen] are freed within-the-world. This 
Dasein-with of the Others is disclosed within-the-world for a Dasein, and 
so too for those who are Daseinswith us [die Mitdaseienden], only because 
Dasein in itself is essentially Being-with. The phenomenological assertion 
that "Dasein is essentially Being-with" has an existential-ontological 
meaning. It does not seek to establish ontically that factically I am not 
present-at-hand alone, and that Others of my kind occur. If this were 
what is meant by the proposition that Dasein's Being-in-the-world is 
essentially constituted by Being-with, then Being-with would not be an 
existential attribute which Dasein, of its own accord, has coming to it 
from its own kind of Being. It would rather be something which turns up 
in every case by reason of the occurrence of Others. Being-with is an 
existential characteristic of Dasein even when factically no Other is 
present-at-hand or perceived. Even Dasein's Being-alone is Being-with 

I. 4 Being and Time 157 

in the world. The Other can be missing only in 1 and for 1 a Being-with. 
Being-alone is a deficient mode of Being-with; its very possibility is the 
proof of this. On the other hand, factical Being-alone is not obviated by 
the occurrence of a second example of a human being 'beside' me, or by ten 
such examples. Even if these and more are present-at-hand, Dasein can 
still be alone. So Being-with and the facticity of Being with one another 
are not based on the occurrence together of several 'subjects'. Yet Being- 121 
alone 'among' many does not mean that with regard to their Being they 
are merely present-at-hand there alongside us. Even in our Being 'among 
them' they are there with us; their Dasein-with is encountered in a mode 
in which they are indifferent and alien. Being missing and 'Being away' 
[Das Fehlen und "Fortsein"] are modes of Dasein-with, and are possible 
only because Dasein as Being-with lets the Dasein of Others be en- 
countered in its world. Being-with is in every case a characteristic of one's 
own Dasein; Dasein-with characterizes the Dasein of Others to the extent 
that it is freed by its world for a Being-with. Only so far as one's own 
Dasein has the essential structure of Being-with, is it Dasein-with as 
encounterable for Others. 2 

If Dasein-with remains existentially constitutive for Being-in-the- 
world, then, like our circumspective dealings with the ready-to-hand 
within-the-world (which, by way of anticipation, we have called 'con- 
cern'), it must be Interpreted in terms of the phenomenon of care; for as 
"care" the Being of Dasein in general is to be defined. 3 (Compare Chapter 
6 of this Division.) Concern is a character-of-Being which Being-with 
cannot have as its own, even though Being-with, like concern, is a Being 
towards entities encountered within-the-world. But those entities towards 
which Dasein as Being-with comports itself do not have the kind of Being 
which belongs to equipment ready-to-hand ; they are themselves Dasein. 
These entities are not objects of concern, but rather of solicitude* 

1 Italics supplied in the later editions. 

2 . . Mitdasein charakterisiert das Dasein anderer, sofern es fur ein Mitsein durch 
dessen Welt freigegeben ist. Das eigene Dasein ist, sofern es die Wesensstruktur des 
Mitseins hat, als fur Andere begegnend Mitdasein.' 

3 . . als welche das Sein des Daseins uberhaupt bestimmt wird.' The older editions 
omit 'wird'. 

* 'Dieses Seiende wird nicht besorgt, sondern steht in der Fiirsorge.' There is no good 
English equivalent for 'Fiirsorge', which we shall usually translate by 'solicitude*. The more 
literal 'caring-for' has the connotation of 'being fond of, which we do not want here; 
'personal care' suggests personal hygiene; 'personal concern' suggests one's personal 
business or affairs. 'Fiirsorge' is rather the kind of care which we find in 'prenatal care' or 
'taking care of the children', or even the kind of care which is administered by welfare 
agencies. Indeed the word 'Fiirsorge' is regularly used in contexts where we would speak 
of 'welfare work' or 'social welfare; this is the usage which Heidegger has in mind in his 
discussion of 'Fiirsorge' as 'a factical social arrangement'. (The etymological connection 
between 'Sorge ('care'), 'Fiirsorge' ('solicitude'), and 'Besorgen ('concern'), is entirely 
lost in our translation.) 

158 Being and Time I. 4 

Even 'concern* with food and clothing, and the nursing of the sick body, 
are forms of solicitude. But we understand the expression 4 'solicitude" in 
a way which corresponds to our use of "concern", as a term for an exist- 
entiale. For example, 'welfare work* ["Fiirsorge"], as a factical social 
arrangement, is grounded in Dasein's state of Being as Being-with. Its 
factical urgency gets its motivation in that Dasein maintains itself proxi- 
mally and for the most part in the deficient modes of solicitude. Being for, 
against, or without one another, passing one another by, not "mattering" 
to one another — these are possible ways of solicitude. And it is precisely 
these last-named deficient and Indifferent modes that characterize 
everyday, average Being-with-one-another. These modes of Being show 
again the characteristics of inconspicuousness and obviousness which 
belong just as much to the everyday Dasein-with of Others within-the- 
world as to the readiness-to-hand of the equipment with which one is 
daily concerned. These Indifferent modes of Being-with-one-another may 
easily mislead ontological Interpretation into interpreting this kind of 
Being, in the first instance, as the mere Being-present-at-hand of several 
subjects. It seems as if only negligible variations of the same kind of Being 
lie before us; yet ontologically there is an essential distinction between 
the 'indifferent' way in which Things at random occur together and the 
122 way in which entities who are with one another do not "matter" to one 

With regard to its positive modes, solicitude has two extreme pos- 
sibilities. It can, as it were, take away 'care 5 from the Other and put itself 
in his position in concern: it can leap in for him. 1 This kind of solicitude 
takes over for the Other that with which he is to concern himself. The 
Other is thus thrown out of his own position; he steps back so that after- 
wards, when the matter has been attended to, he can either take it over as 
something finished and at his disposal, 2 or disburden himself of it com- 
pletely. In such solicitude the Other can become one who is dominated 
and dependent, even if this domination is a tacit one and remains hidden 
from him. This kind of solicitude, which leaps in and takes away 'care', is 
to a large extent determinative for Being with one another, and pertains 
for the most part to our concern with the ready-to-hand. 

In contrast to this, there is also the possibility of a kind of solicitude 
which does not so much leap in for the Other as leap ahead of him [ihm 

1 , . sich an seine Stelle setzen, fur ihn einspringen: Here, as on H. 100 (See our note 2, 
P- I33)» Jt would be more idiomatic to translate 'fur ihn einspringen' as 'intervene 
lor him , stand in for him' or 'serve as deputy for him'; but since Einspringen' is to be 
contrasted with 'vorspringen', Vorausspringen' and perhaps even 'entspringen' in the 
following paragraphs, we have chosen a translation which suggests the etymological 

2 *. . . um nachtraglich das Besorgte als fertig Verfugbares zu ubernehmen . . 

I. 4 Being and Time 159 

vorausspringt] in his existentiell potentiality-for-Being, not in order to take 
away his 'care' but rather to give it back to him authentically as such for 
the first time. This kind of solicitude pertains essentially to authentic care 
— that is, to the existence of the Other, not to a "what" with which he is 
concerned; it helps the Other to become transparent to himself in his care 
and to become free for it. 

Solicitude proves to be a state of Dasein's Being — one which, in 
accordance with its different possibilities, is bound up with its Being 
towards the world of its concern, and likewise with its authentic Being 
towards itself. Being with one another is based proximally and often 
exclusively upon what is a matter of common concern in such Being. 
A Being-with-one-another which arises [en t spring t] from one's doing the 
same thing as someone else, not only keeps for the most part within the 
outer limits, but enters the mode of distance and reserve. The Being- 
with-one-another of those who are hired for the same affair often thrives 
only on mistrust. On the other hand, when they devote themselves to the 
same affair in common, their doing so is determined by the manner in 
which their Dasein, each in its own way, has been taken hold of. 1 They 
thus become authentically bound together, and this makes possible the right 
kind of objectivity [die rechte Sachlichkeit], which frees the Other in his 
freedom for himself. 

Everyday Being-with-one-another maintains itself between the two 
extremes of positive solicitude — that which leaps in and dominates, and 
that which leaps forth and liberates [vorspringend-befreienden]. It brings 
numerous mixed forms to maturity; 2 to describe these and classify them 
would take us beyond the limits of this investigation. 

Just as circumspection belongs to concern as a way of discovering what is 
ready-to-hand, solicitude is guided by consider ateness and forbearance? 
Like solicitude, these can range through their respective deficient and 
Indifferent modes up to the point of inconsiderateness or the perfunctoriness 
for which indifference leads the way. 4 

1 'Umgekehrt ist das gemeinsame Sicheinsetzen fur dieselbe Sache aus dem je eigens 
ergriffenen Dasein bestimmt.' 

2 Reading '. . . und zeitigt mannigfache Mischformen . . with the older editions. The 
later editions have 'zeigt' ('shows') instead of 'zeitigt' ('brings to maturity'). On 'zeitigen* 
see H. 304 and our note ad loc. 

3 * Wie dem Besorgen als Weise des Entdeckens des Zuhandenen die Umskht zugehort, 
so ist die Fiirsorge g*leitet durch die Rucksicht und Nachsvcht? Heidegger is here calling 
attention to the etymological kinship of the three words which he italicizes, each of which 
stands for a special kind of sight or seeing ('Sicht'). 

The italicization of 'Umsicht' ('circumspection') is introduced in the newer editions. 

4 *. . . bis zur Rikksichtslosigkeit und dem Nachsehen, das die Gleichgiiltigkeit 
leitet.' This passage is ambiguous both syntactically and semantically. It is not clear, for 
instance, whether the subject of the relative clause is 'die Gleichgiiltigkeit' or the pronoun 
'das', though we prefer the former interpretation. 'Nachsehen', which is etymologically 

160 Being and Time I. 4 

The world not only frees the ready-to-hand as entities encountered 
within- the-world; it also frees Dasein, and the Others in their Dasein- 
with. But Dasein's ownmost meaning of Being is such that this entity 
(which has been freed environmentally) is Being-in in the same world in 
which, as encounterable for Others, it is there with them. We have 
interpreted worldhood as that referential totality which constitutes 
significance (Section 18). In Being-familiar with this significance and 
previously understanding it, Dasein lets what is ready-to-hand be en- 
countered as discovered in its involvement. In Dasein's Being, the context of 
references or assignments which significance implies is tied up with Dasein's 
ownmost Being — a Being which essentially can have no involvement, 
but which is rather that Being for the sake of which Dasein itself is as 
it is. 

According to the analysis which we have now completed, Being with 
Others belongs to the Being of Dasein, which is an issue for Dasein in its 
very Being. 1 Thus as Being-with, Dasein 'is' essentially for the sake of 
Others. This must be understood as an existential statement as to its 
essence. Even if the particular factical Dasein does not turn to Others, and 
supposes that it has no need of them or manages to get along without 
them, it is in the way of Being-with. In Being-with, as the existential "for- 
the-sake-of " of Others, these have already been disclosed in their Dasein. 
With their Being-with, their disclosedness has been constituted before- 
hand; accordingly, this disclosedness also goes to make up significance — 
that is to say, worldhood. And, significance, as worldhood, is tied up with 
the existential* Tor-the-sakeK>f-which". 2 Since the worldhood of that world 
in which every Dasein essentially is already, is thus constituted, it accord- 
ingly lets us encounter what is environmentally ready-to-hand as some- 
thing with which we are circumspectively concerned, and it does so in 
such a way that together with it we encounter the Dasein-with of Others. 
The structure of the world's worldhood is such that Others are not 
proximally present-at-hand as free-floating subjects along with other 
Things, but show themselves in the world in their special environmental 
Being, and do so in terms of what is ready-to-hand in that world. 

Being-with is such that the disclosedness of the Dasein-with of Others 

akin to 'Nachsicht', means to inspect* or 'check' something; but it often means to do this 
in a very perfunctory manner, and this latter sense may well be the one which Heidegger 
has in mind. 

1 '. . . zum Sein des Daseins, um das es ihm in seinem Sein selbst geht . . .' 
The older editions have 'darum' instead of 'um das\ 

2 'Diese mit dem Mitsein vorgangig konstituierte Erschlossenheit der Anderen macht 
demnach auch die Bedeutsamkeit, d.h. die Weltlichkeit mit aus, als welche sie im 
existenzialen Worum-willen festgemacht ist.' The word 'sie' appears only in the later 

I. 4 Being and Time 161 

belongs to it; this means that because Dasein's Being is Being-with, its 
understanding of Being already implies the understanding of Others. 
This understanding, like any understanding, is not an acquaintance 
derived from knowledge about them, but a primordially existential kind 
of Being, which, more than anything else, makes such knowledge and 
acquaintance possible. 1 Knowing oneself [Sichkennen] is grounded in 
Being-with, which understands primordially. It operates proximally in 
accordance with the kind of Being which is closest to us — Being-in-the- 
world as Being-with ; and it does so by an acquaintance with that which 
Dasein, along with the Others, comes across in its environmental circum- 
spection and concerns itself with — an acquaintance in which Dasein 
understands. Solicitous concern is understood in terms of what we are 
concerned with, and along with our understanding of it. Thus in con- 
cernful solicitude the Other is proximally disclosed. 

But because solicitude dwells proximally and for the most part in the 
deficient or at least the Indifferent modes (in the indifference of passing 
one another by), the kind of knowing-oneself which is essential and 
closest, demands that one become acquainted with oneself. 2 And when, 
indeed, one's knowing-oneself gets lost in such ways as aloofness, hiding 
oneself away, or putting on a disguise, Being-with-one-another must 
follow special routes of its own in order to come close to Others, or even 
to 'see through them' ["hinter sie" zu kommen]. 

But just as opening oneself up [Sichoflfenbaren] or closing oneself off is 
grounded in one's having Being-with-one-another as one's kind of Being 
at the time, and indeed is nothing else but this, even the explicit dis- 
closure of the Other in solicitude grows only out of one's primarily Being 
with him in each case. Such a disclosure of the Other (which is indeed 
thematic, but not in the manner of theoretical psychology) easily becomes 
the phenomenon which proximally comes to view when one considers the 
theoretical problematic of understanding the 'psychical life of Others' 
["fremden Seelenlebens"]. In this phenomenally 'proximal' manner it 
thus presents a way of Being with one another understandingly; but at 
the same time it gets taken as that which, primordially and 'in the 
beginning', constitutes Being towards Others and makes it possible at all. 

1 'Dieses Verstehen ist, wie Verstehen iiberhaupt, nicht eine aus Erkennen erwachsene 
Kenntnis, sondern eine ursprunglich existenziale Seinsart die Erkennen und Kenntnis 
allererst moglich macht'. While we have here translated 'Kenntnis' as 'acquaintance' and 
'Erkennen' as 'knowledge about', these terms must not be understood in the special 
senses exploited by Lord Russell and G. I. Lewis. The 'acquaintance* here involved is of 
the kind which may be acquired whenever one is well informed about something, whether 
one has any direct contact with it or not, 

2 *. . . bedarf das nachste und wesenhafte Sichkennen eines Sichkennenlernens.* 
'Sichkennen , ('knowing oneself) is to be distinguished sharply from 'Selbsterkenntnis* 
('knowledge of the Self*), which will be discussed on H. 146. See our note 1, p. 186, 

1 62 Being and Time I. 4 

This phenomenon, which is none too happily designated as 'empathy' 
["Einfuhlung"], is then supposed, as it were, to provide the first onto- 
logical bridge from one's own subject, which is given proximaliy as alone, 
to the other subject, which is proximaliy quite closed off. 

Of course Being towards Others is ontologically different from Being 
towards Things which are present-at-hand. The entity which is 'other' 
has itself the same kind of Being as Dasein. In Being with and towards 
Others, there is thus a relationship of Being [Seinsverhaltnis] from Dasein 
to Dasein. But it might be said that this relationship is already constitutive 
for one's own Dasein, which, in its own right, has an understanding of 
Being, and which thus relates itself 1 towards Dasein. The relationship-of- 
Being which one has towards Others would then become a Projection 2 
of one's own Being-towards-oneself 'into something else'. The Other 
would be a duplicate of the Self. 

But while these deliberations seem obvious enough, it is easy to see that 
they have little ground to stand on. The presupposition which this argu- 
ment demands — that Dasein's Being towards an Other is its Being towards 
itself — fails to hold. As long as the legitimacy of this presupposition has not 
turned out to be evident, one may still be puzzled as to how Dasein's 
relationship to itself is thus to be disclosed to the Other as Other. 

Not only is Being towards Others an autonomous, irreducible relation- 
ship of Being: this relationship, as Being-with, is one which, with Dasein's 
Being, already is. 3 Of course it is indisputable that a lively mutual 
acquaintanceship on the basis of Being-with, often depends upon how far 
one's own Dasein has understood itself at the time; but this means that it 
depends only upon how far one's essential Being with Others has made 
itself transparent and has not disguised itself. 4 And that is possible only if 
Dasein, as Being-in-the-world, already is with Others. 'Empathy' does not 
first constitute Being-with; only on the basis of Being-with does 'empathy' 
become possible: it gets its motivation from the unsociability of the 
dominant modes of Being-with. 5 

1 '. . . sich . . . verhalt . . .' We have often translated this expression as 'comports' 
itself, compromising between two other possible meanings : 'relates itself and 'behaves 
or 'conducts itself 1 . In this passage, however, and in many others where this expression is 
tied up with 'Verhaltnis* ('relationship*) rather than with 'Verhalten' ('behaviour or 
'conduct'), only 'relates itself seems appropriate. 

2 'Projection*. Here we are dealing with 'projection' in the familiar psychological sense, 
not in the sense which would be expressed by 'Entwurf . See H. 145 fF. 

3 'Das Sein zu Anderen ist nicht nur ein eigenstandiger, irreduktibler Seinsbezug, er 
ist als Mitsein mit dem Sein des Daseins schon seiend.' 

* '. . . wie weit es das wesenhafte Mitsein mit anderen sich durchsichtig gemacht 
und nicht verstellt hat . . .' (The older editions have '. . . sich nicht undurchsichtig 
gemacht und verstellt hat . . .*.) 

6 ' "Einfuhlung" konstituiert nicht erst das Mitsein, sondern ist auf dessen Grunde 
erst moglich und durch die vorherrschenden defizienten Modi des Mitseins in ihrer 
Unumganglichkeit motiviert.' 

I- 4 Being and Time 163 

But the fact that 'empathy' is not a primordial existential phenomenon, 
any more than is knowing in general, does not mean that there is nothing 
problematical about it. The special hermeneutic of empathy will have to 
show how Being-with-one-another and Dasein's knowing of itself are led 
astray and obstructed by the various possibilities of Being which Dasein itself 
possesses, so that a genuine 'understanding' gets suppressed, and Dasein 
takes refuge in substitutes; the possibility of understanding the stranger 
correctly presupposes such a hermeneutic as its positive existential 
condition. 1 Our analysis has shown that Being-with is an existential con- 
stituent of Being-in-the-world. Dasein-with has proved to be a kind of 
Being which entities encountered within-the-world have as their 
own. So far as Dasein is at all, it has Being-with-one-another as its kind 
of Being. This cannot be conceived as a summative result of the occur- 
rence of several 'subjects'. Even to come across a number of 'subjects' 
[einer Anzahl von "Subjekten"] becomes possible only if the Others who 
are concerned proximaliy in their Dasein-with are treated merely as 
'numerals' ["Nummer"]. Such a number of 'subjects' gets discovered only 
by a definite Being-with-and-towards-one-another. This 'inconsiderate' 
Being-with 'reckons' ["rechnet"] with the Others without seriously 
'counting on them' ["auf sie zahlt"], or without even wanting to 'have 
anything to do' with them. 

One's own Dasein, like the Dasein-with of Others, is encountered 
proximaliy and for the most part in terms of thewith-world with which we 
are environmentally concerned. When Dasein is absorbed in the world 
of its concern — that is, at the same time, in its Being-with towards Others 
— it is not itself. Who is it, then, who has taken over Being as everyday 
Being-with-one-another ? 

% 27. Everyday Being-one } s-Self and the "They 

The ontologically relevant result of our analysis of Being-with is the 
insight that the 'subject character' of one's own Dasein and that of Others 
is to be defined existentially — that is, in terms of certain ways in which 
one may be. In that with which we concern ourselves environmentally 
the Others are encountered as what they are; they are what they do [sie 
sind das, was sie betreiben]. 

In one's concern with what one has taken hold of, whether with, for, 
or against, the Others, there is constant care as to the way one differs 
from them, whether that difference is merely one that is to be evened out, 
whether one's own Dasein has lagged behind the Others and wants to 

1 '. . . welche positive existenziale Bedingung rechtes Fremdverstehen fur seine Moglich- 
keit voraussetzt.' We have construed 'welche' as referring back to 'Hermeneutik', though 
this is not entirely clear. 

164 Being and Time I. 4 

catch up in relationship to them, or whether one's Dasein already has 
some priority over them and sets out to keep them suppressed. The care 
about this distance between them is disturbing to Being-with-one-another, 
though this disturbance is one that is hidden from it. If we may express 
this existentially, such Being-with-one-another has the character of 
distantiality [Abstdndigkeit], The more inconspicuous this kind of Being is 
to everyday Dasein itself, all the more stubbornly and primordially does 
it work itself out. 

But this distantiality which belongs to Being-with, is such that Dasein, 
as everyday Being-with-one-another, stands in subjection [Botmdssigkeit] to 
Others. It itself is not; 1 its Being has been taken away by the Others. 
Dasein's everyday possibilities of Being are for the Others to dispose of 
as they please. These Others, moreover, are not definite Others. On the 
contrary, any Other can represent them. What is decisive is just that 
inconspicuous domination by Others which has already been taken over 
unawares from Dasein as Being-with. One belongs to the Others oneself and 
enhances their power. 'The Others' whom one thus designates in order to 
cover up the fact of one's belonging to them essentially oneself, are those 
who proximally and for the most part 'are there* in everyday Being-with- 
one-another. The "who" is not this one, not that one, not oneself [man 
selbst], not some people [einige], and not the sum of them all. The 'who' 
is the neuter, the "they" [das Man], 

We have shown earlier how in the environment which lies closest to us, 
the public 'environment' already is ready-to-hand and is also a matter 
of concern [mitbesorgt] . In utilizing public means of transport and 
in making use of information services such as the newspaper, every Other 
is like the next. This Being-with-one-another dissolves one's own Dasein 
completely into the kind of Being of 'the Others', in such a way, indeed, 
that the Others, as distinguishable and explicit, vanish more and more. In this 
inconspicuousnessand unascertainability, the real dictatorship of the "they" 
is unfolded. We take pleasure and enjoy ourselves as they [man] take 
pleasure; we read, see, and judge about literature and art as they see and 
judge; likewise we shrink back from the 'great mass' as they shrink back; 
we find 'shocking' what they find shocking. The "they", which is nothing 
definite, and which all are, though not as the sum, prescribes the kind of 
Being of everydayness. 

The "they" has its own ways in which to be. That tendency of Being- 
with which we have called "distantiality" is grounded in the fact that 
Being-with-one-another concerns itself as such with averageness, which is 
an existential characteristic of the "they". The "they", in its Being, 

1 'Nicht es selbst ist; . . 

I. 4 Being and Time 165 

essentially makes an issue of this. Thus the "they" maintains itself factic- 
ally in the averageness of that which belongs to it, of that which it regards 
as valid and that which it does not, and of that to which it grants success 
and that to which it denies it. In this averageness with which it prescribes 
what can and may be ventured, it keeps watch over everything exceptional 
that thrusts itself to the fore. Every kind of priority gets noiselessly sup- 
pressed. Overnight, everything that is primordial gets glossed over as 
something that has long been well known. Everything gained by a struggle 
becomes just something to be manipulated. Every secret loses its force. 
This care of averageness reveals in turn an essential tendency of Dasein 
which we call the "levelling down" [Einebnung] of all possibilities of Being. 

Distantiality, averageness, and levelling down, as ways of Being for the 
"they", constitute what we know as 'publicness' ["die Offentlichkeit"]. 
Publicness proximally controls every way in which the world and Dasein 
get interpreted, and it is always right — not because there is some distinc- 
tive and primary relationship-of-Being in which it is related to 'Things', 
or because it avails itself of some transparency on the part of Dasein which 
it has explicitly appropriated, but because it is insensitive to every differ- 
ence of level and of genuineness and thus never gets to the 'heart of the 
matter' ["auf die Sachen"]. By publicness everything gets obscured, and 
what has thus been covered up gets passed off as something familiar and 
accessible to everyone. 

The "they" is there alongside everywhere [ist uberall dabei], but in 
such a manner that it has always stolen away whenever Dasein presses 
for a decision. Yet because the "they" presents every judgment and deci- 
sion as its own, it deprives the particular Dasein of its answerability. The 
"they" can, as it were, manage to have 'them' constantly invoking it. 1 
It can be answerable for everything most easily, because it is not someone 
who needs to vouch for anything. It 'was' always the "they" who did it, 
and yet it can be said that it has been 'no one'. In Dasein's everydayness 
the agency through which most things come about is one of which we 
must say that "it was no one". 

Thus the particular Dasein in its everydayness is disburdened by the 
"they". Not only that; by thus disburdening it of its Being, the "they" 
accommodates Dasein [kommt . . . dem Dasein entgegen] if Dasein 
has any tendency to take things easily and make them easy. And be- 
cause the "they" constantly accommodates the particular Dasein by dis- 
burdening it of its Being, the "they" retains and enhances its stubborn 

Everyone is the other, and no one is himself. The "they 99 , which supplies 
1 'Das Man kann es sich gleichsam leisten, dass "man" sich standig auf es beruft.* 

1 66 Being and Time I. 4 

the answer to the question of the "who" of everyday Dasein, is the 
"nobody" to whom every Dasein has already surrendered itself in Being- 
among-one-other [Untereinandersein]. 

In these characters of Being which we have exhibited — everyday Being- 
among-one-another, distantiality, averageness, levelling down, public- 
ness, the disburdening of one's Being, and accommodation — lies that 
'constancy' of Dasein which is closest to us. This "constancy" pertains not 
to the enduring Being-present-at-hand of something, but rather to Dasein's 
kind of Being as Being-with. Neither the Self of one's own Dasein nor the 
Self of the Other has as yet found itself or lost itself as long as it is [seiend] 
in the modes we have mentioned. In these modes one's way of Being is 
that of inauthenticity and failure to stand by one's Self. 1 To be in this 
way signifies no lessening of Dasein's facticity, just as the "they", as the 
"nobody", is by no means nothing at all. On the contrary, in this kind 
of Being, Dasein is an ens realissimum, if by 'Reality' we understand a 
Being with the character of Dasein. 

Of course, the "they" is as litde present-at-hand as Dasein itself. The 
more openly the "they" behaves, the harder it is to grasp, and the slier it 
is, but the less is it nothing at all. If we 'see' it ontico-ontologically with 
an unprejudiced eye, it reveals itself as the 'Realest subject' of everyday- 
ness. And even if it is not accessible like a stone that is present-at-hand, 
this is not in the least decisive as to its kind of Being. One may neither 
decree prematurely that this "they" is 'really' nothing, nor profess the 
opinion that one can Interpret this phenomenon ontologically by some- 
how 'explaining' it as what results from taking the Being-present-at-hand- 
together of several subjects and then fitting them together. On the contrary, 
in working out concepts of Being one must direct one's course by these 
phenomena, which cannot be pushed aside. 

Furthermore, the "they" is not something like a 'universal subject' which 
a plurality of subjects have hovering above them. One can come to take 
it this way only if the Being of such 'subjects 5 is understood as having a 
character other than that of Dasein, and if these are regarded as cases of 
a genus of occurrents — cases which are factually present-at-hand. With 
this approach, the only possibility ontologically is that everything which is 
not a case of this sort is to be understood in the sense of genus and species. 
The "they" is not the genus to which the individual Dasein belongs, nor 
can we come across it in such entities as an abiding characteristic. That 
even the traditional logic fails us when confronted with these phenomena, 
is not surprising if we bear in mind that it has its foundation in an 

1 'Man ist in der Weise der Unselbstandigkeit und Uneigentlichkeit.' On 'Standigkeit* 
and 'Unselbstandigkeit* see our note 1, p. 153, H. 1 17 above. 

I. 4 Being and Time 167 

ontology of the present-at-hand — an ontology which, moreover, is still a 
rough one. So no matter in how many ways this logic may be improved 
and expanded, it cannot in principle be made any more flexible. Such 
reforms of logic, oriented towards the 'humane sciences', only increase the 
ontological confusion. 

The "they" is an existentiale; and as a primordial phenomenon, it belongs to 
Daseirfs positive constitution. It itself has, in turn, various possibilities of 
becoming concrete as something characteristic of Dasein [seiner daseins- 
massigen Konkretion], The extent to which its dominion becomes com- 
pelling and explicit may change in the course of history. 

The Self of everyday Dasein is the they-self, 1 which we distinguish from 
the authentic Self— that is, from the Self which has been taken hold of in 
its own way [eigens ergriffenen] . As they-self, the particular Dasein has 
been dispersed into the "they", and must first find itself. This dispersal 
characterizes the 'subject' of that kind of Being which we know as con- 
cernful absorption in the world we encounter as closest to us. If Dasein 
is familiar with itself as they-self, this means at the same time that the 
"they" itself prescribes that way of interpreting the world and Being-in- 
the-world which lies closest. Dasein is for the sake of the "they" in an 
everyday manner, and the "they" itself Articulates the referential context 
of significance. 2 When entities are encountered, Dasein's world frees them for 
a totality of involvements with which the "they" is familiar, and within the 
limits which have been established with the "they's" averageness. Proxi- 
mally, factical Dasein is in the with-world, which is discovered in an average 
way. Proximally, it is not T, in the sense of my own Self, that 'am', but 
rather the Others, whose way is that of the "they". 3 In terms of the "they", 
and as the "they", I am 'given' proximally to 'myself [mir "selbst"]. 
Proximally Dasein is "they", and for the most part it remains so. If 
Dasein discovers the world in its own way [eigens] and brings it close, if it 
discloses to itself its own authentic Being, then this discovery of the 'world' 
and this disclosure of Dasein are always accomplished as a clearing- 
away of concealments and obscurities, as a breaking up of the disguises 
with which Dasein bars its own way. 

With this Interpretation of Being-with and Being-one 's-Self in the 

1 . . das Man-selbst . . This expression is also to be distinguished from 'das Man 
selbst' ('the "they" itself), which appears elsewhere in this paragraph. In the first of these 
expressions 'selbst 1 appears as a substantive, in the second as a mere intensive. 

■ 'Das Man selbst, worum-willen das Dasein alltaglich ist, artikuliert den Verweisungs- 
zusammenhang der Bedeutsamkeit.' It is also possible to construe 'alltaglich' as a pre- 
dicate adjective after 'ist* ; in that case we should read : 'Dasein is everyday for the sake 
of the "they".' 

3 'Zundchst "bin" nicht "ich" im Sinne des eigenen Selbst, sondern die Anderen in der 
Weise des Man.* In the earlier editions there are commas after ' "ich" ' and 'Anderen', 
which would suggest a somewhat different interpretation. 

1 68 Being and Time I. 4 

"they", the question of the "who" of the everydayness of Being-with-one- 
another is answered. These considerations have at the same time brought 
us a concrete understanding of the basic constitution of Dasein: Being-in- 
the-world, in its everydayness and its averageness, has become visible. 

From the kind of Being which belongs to the "they" — the kind which 
is closest — everyday Dasein draws its pre-ontological way of interpreting 
its Being. In the first instance ontological Interpretation follows the 
tendency to interpret it this way: it understands Dasein in terms of the 
world and comes across it as an entity within- the- world. But that is not all : 
even that meaning of Being on the basis of which these 'subject* entities 
[diese seienden "Subjekte"] get understood, is one which that ontology 
of Dasein which is 'closest' to us lets itself present in terms of the 'world*. 
But because the phenomenon of the world itself gets passed over in this 
absorption in the world, its place gets taken [tritt an seine Stelle] by what 
is present-at-hand within- the- world, namely, Things. The Being of those 
entities which are there with us, gets conceived as presence-at-hand. Thus 
by exhibiting the positive phenomenon of the closest everyday Being-in- 
the-world, we have made it possible to get an insight into the reason why 
an ontological Interpretation of this state of Being has been missing. This 
very state of Being, 1 in its everyday kind of Being, is what proximally misses itself 
and covers itself up. 

If the Being of everyday Being-with-one-another is already different 
in principle from pure presence-at-hand — in spite of the fact that it is 
seemingly close to it ontologically — still less can the Being of the authentic 
Self be conceived as presence-at-hand. Authentic Being-one 1 s-Self does not 
rest upon an exceptional condition of the subject, a condition that has 
been detached from the "they"; it is rather an existentiell modification of the 
"they" — of the "they" as an essential existentiale. 

But in that case there is ontologically a gap separating the selfsameness 
of the authentically existing Self from the identity of that "I" which 
maintains itself throughout its manifold Experiences. 

1 We interpret Heidegger's pronoun *Sie' as referring to 'Seinsverfassung* ('state of 
Being'); but there are other words in the previous sentence to which it might refer with 
just as much grammatical plausibility, particularly 'Interpretation'. 



28. The Tosh of a Thematic Analysis of Being-in 
In the preparatory stage of the existential analytic of Dasein, we have for 
our leading theme this entity's basic state, Being-in-the-World. Our first 
aim is to bring into relief phenomenally the unitary primordial structure of 
Dasein's Being, in terms of which its possibilities and the ways for it 'to be' 
are ontologically determined. Up till now, our phenomenal characterization 
of Being-in-the-world has been directed towards the world, as a structural 
item of Being-in-the-world, and has attempted to provide an answer to the 
question about the "who" of this entity in its everydayness. But even in 
first marking out the tasks of a preparatory fundamental analysis of Dasein, 
we have already provided an advance orientation as to Being-in as such, 1 
and have illustrated it in the concrete mode of knowing the world. 11 

The fact that we foresaw this structural item which carries so much 
weight, arose from our aim of setting the analysis of single items, from the out- 
set, within the frame of a steady preliminary view of the structural whole, 
and of guarding against any disruption or fragmentation of the unitary 
phenomenon. Now, keeping in mind what has been achieved in the concrete 
analysis of the world and the "who", we must turn our Interpretation 
back to the phenomenon of Being-in. By considering this more penetrat- 
ingly, however, we shall not only get a new and surer phenomenological 
view of the structural totality of Being-in-the-world, but shall also pave 
the way to grasping the primordial Being of Dasein itself— namely, care. 

But what more is there to point out in Being-in-the-world, beyond the 
essential relations of Being alongside the world (concern), Being-with 
(solicitude), and Being-one's-Self ("who") ? If need be, there still remains 
the possibility of broadening out the analysis by characterizing com- 
paratively the variations of concern and its circumspection, of solicitude 
and the considerateness which goes with it; there is also the possibility of 
contrasting Dasein with entities whose character is not that of Dasein by 
a more precise explication of the Being of all possible entities within-the- 

170 Being and Time I. 5 

world. Without question, there are unfinished tasks still lying in this field. 
What we have hitherto set forth needs to be rounded out in many ways 
by working out fully the existential a priori of philosophical anthropology 
and taking a look at it. But this is not the aim of our investigation. Its 
aim is one of fundamental ontology. Consequently, if we inquire about Being-in 
as our theme, we cannot indeed consent to nullify the primordial character 
of this phenomenon by deriving it from others — that is to say, by an 
inappropriate analysis, in the sense of a dissolving or breaking up. But 
the fact that something primordial is underivable does not rule out the 
possibility that a multiplicity of characteristics of Being may be con- 
stitutive for it. If these show themselves, then existentially they are 
equiprimordial. The phenomenon of the equiprimordiality of constitutive 
items has often been disregarded in ontology, because of a methodologic- 
ally unrestrained tendency to derive everything and anything from some 
simple 'primal ground'. 

In which direction must we look, if we are to characterize Being-in, 
as such, phenomenally? We get the answer to this question by recalling 
what we were charged with keeping phenomenologically in view when we 
called attention to this phenomenon : Being-in is distinct from the present- 
at-hand insideness of something present-at-hand 'in' something else that 
is present-at-hand ; Being-in is not a characteristic that is effected, or even 
just elicited, in a present-at-hand subject by the 'world's' Being-present- 
at-hand; Being-in is rather an essential kind of Being of this entity itself. 
But in that case, what else is presented with this phenomenon than the 
commercium which is present-at-hand between a subject present-at-hand and 
an Object present-at-hand? Such an interpretation would come closer 
to the phenomenal content if we were to say that Dasein is the Being of this 
'between'. Yet to take our orientation from this 'between' would still be 
misleading. For with such an orientation we would also be covertly 
assuming the entities between which this "between", as such, 'is', and we 
would be doing so in a way which is ontologically vague. The "between" 
is already conceived as the result of the convenientia of two things that are 
present-at-hand. But to assume these beforehand always splits the phenom- 
enon asunder, and there is no prospect of putting it together again from 
the fragments. Not only do we lack the 'cement'; even the 'schema' in 
accordance with which this joining- together is to be accomplished, has 
been split asunder, or never as yet unveiled. What is decisive for ontology 
is to prevent the splitting of the phenomenon— in other words, to hold its 
positive phenomenal content secure. To say that for this we need far- 
reaching and detailed study, is simply to express the fact that something 
which was ontically self-evident in the traditional way of treating the 

I, 5 Being and Time iji 

'problem of knowledge' has often been ontologically disguised to the point 
where it has been lost sight of altogether. 

The entity which is essentially constituted by Being-in-the-world is 
itself in every case its 'there'. According to the familiar signification of the 
word, the 'there' points to a 'here' and a 'yonder'. There 'here' of an 
'I-here' is always understood in relation to a 'yonder' ready-to-hand, in 
the sense of a Being towards this 'yonder' — a Being which is de-severant, 
directional, and concernful. Dasein's existential spatiality, which thus 
determines its 'location', is itself grounded in Being-in-the-world. The 
"yonder" belongs definitely to something encountered within-the-awrW. 
'Here' and 'yonder' are possible only in a 'there'— that is to say, only if 
there is an entity which has made a disclosure of spatiality as the Being of 
the 'there'. This entity carries in its ownmost Being the character of not 
being closed off. In the expression 'there' we have in view this essential 
disclosedness. By reason of this disclosedness, this entity (Dasein), together 
with the Being-there 1 of the world, is 'there' for itself. 

When we talk in an ontically figurative way of the lumen naturale in 
man, we have in mind nothing other than the existential-ontological 
structure of this entity, that it is in such a way as to be its "there". To say 
that it is 'illuminated' ["erleuchtet"] means that as Being-in-the-world 
it is cleared [gelichtet] in itself, not through any other entity, but in such 
a way that it is itself the clearing. 2 Only for an entity which is existentially 
cleared in this way does that which is present-at-hand become accessible in 
the light or hidden in the dark. By its very nature, Dasein brings its "there" 
along with it. If it lacks its "there", it is not factically the entity which is 
essentially Dasein; indeed, it is not this entity at all. Dasein is its disclosedness. 

We are to set forth the Constitution of this Being. But in so far as the 
essence of this entity is existence, the existential proposition, 'Dasein is its 
disclosedness', means at the same time that the Being which is an issue for 
this entity in its very Being is to be its 'there'. In addition to characterizing 
the primary Constitution of the Being of disclosedness, we will require, in 
conformity with the course of the analysis, an Interpretation of the kind 
of Being in which this entity is its "there" in an everyday manner. 

This chapter, in which we shall undertake the explication of Being-in as 
such (that is to say, of the Being of the "there"), breaks up into two parts: 
A. the existential Constitution of the "there" ; B. the everyday Being of the 
"there", and the falling of Dasein. 

In understanding and state-of-mind, we shall see the two constitutive ways 

1 'Dasein'. See our note 1, p. 27, H. 7 above. # 

2 'Lichtung*. This word is customarily used to stand for a 'clearing in the woods, not 
for a 'clarification 1 ; the verb 'lichten' is similarly used. The force of this passage lies in the 
fact that these words are cognates of the noun 'Licht' ('light*). 

I7 2 Being and Time I. 5 

of being the "there"; and these are equiprimordial. If these are to be 
analysed, some phenomenal confirmation is necessary; in both cases this 
will be attained by Interpreting some concrete mode which is important 
for the subsequent problematic. State-of-mind and understanding are 
characterized equiprimordially by discourse. 

Under A (the existential Constitutuon of the ' 'there") we shall accordingly 
treat: Being-there as state-of-mind (Section 29) ; fear as a mode of state-of- 
mind (Section 30) ; Being-there as understanding (Section 31) ; understand- 
ing and interpretation (Section 32) ; assertion as a derivative mode of inter- 
pretation (Section 33) ; Being-there, discourse, and language (Section 34). 

The analysis of the characteristics of the Being of Being-there is an 
existential one. This means that the characteristics are not properties of 
something present-at-hand, but essentially existential ways to be. We 
must therefore set forth their kind of Being in everydayness. 

Under B (the everyday Being of the "there", and the falling of Dasein) we 
shall analyse idle talk (Section 35), curiosity (Section 36), and ambiguity 
(Section 37) as existential modes of the everyday Being of the "there"; 
we shall analyse them as corresponding respectively to the constitutive 
phenomenon of discourse, the sight which lies in understanding, and 
the interpretation (or explaining [Deutung]) which belongs to understand- 
ing. In these phenomenal modes a basic kind of Being of the "there" will 
become visible — a kind of Being which we Interpret as falling; and this 
'falling' shows a movement [Bewegtheit] which is existentially its own. 1 

A. The Existential Constitution of the " There" 
If 2g. Being there as State-ofmind 

What we indicate ontologically by the term "state-of-mind" 2 is ontically 
the most familiar and everyday sort of thing; our mood, our Being- 
attuned. 3 Prior to all psychology of moods, a field which in any case still 

1 While we shall ordinarily reserve the word 'falling' for 'Verfallen' (see our note 2, 
p. 42, H. 21 above), in this sentence it represents first 'Verfallen' and then 'Fallen', the 
usual German word for 'falling'. 'Fallen* and 'Verfallen' are by no means strictly synony- 
mous; the latter generally has the further connotation of 'decay* or 'deterioration', though 
Heidegger will take pains to point out that in his own usage it 'does not express any 
negative evaluation'. See Section 38 below. 

■ 'Befindlichkeit'. More literally: 'the state in which one may be found'. (The common 
German expression 'Wie befinden Sie sich?' means simply 'How are you?' or 'How are 
you feeling?') Our translation, 'state-of-mind', comes fairly close to what is meant; but 
it should be made clear that the 'of-mind' belongs to English idiom, has no literal counter- 
part m the structure of the German word, and fails to bring out the important connotation 
of finding oneself. 

3 '. . . die Stimmung, das Gestimmtsein.' The noun 'Stimmung' originally means the 
tuning of a musical instrument, but it has taken on several other meanings and is the 
usual word for one's mood or humour. We shall usually translate it as 'mood', and we 
shall generally translate both 'Gestimmtsein' and 'Gestimmtheit' as 'having a mood', 
though sometimes, as in the present sentence, we prefer to call attention to the root 
metaphor of 'Gestimmtsein' by writing 'Being-attuned', etc. 

I. 5 Being and Time 173 

lies fallow, it is necessary to see this phenomenon as a fundamental 
existentiale, and to outline its structure. 

Both the undisturbed equanimity and the inhibited ill-humour of our 
everyday concern, the way we slip over from one to the other, or slip off 
into bad moods, are by no means nothing ontologically, 1 even if these 
phenomena are left unheeded as supposedly the most indifferent and 
fleeting in Dasein. The fact that moods can deteriorate [verdorben wer- 
den] and change over means simply that in every case Dasein always has 
some mood [gestimmt ist]. The pallid, evenly balanced lack of mood 
[Ungestimmtheit], which is often persistent and which is not to be 
mistaken for a bad mood, is far from nothing at all. Rather, it is in this 
that Dasein becomes satiated with itself. Being has become manifest as 
a burden. Why that should be, one does not know* And Dasein cannot know 
anything of the sort because the possibilities of disclosure which belong to 
cognition reach far too short a way compared with the primordial 
disclosure belonging to moods, in which Dasein is brought before its 
Being as "there". Furthermore, a mood of elation can alleviate the 
manifest burden of Being; that such a mood is possible also discloses the 
burdensome character of Dasein, even while it alleviates the burden. 
A mood makes manifest 'how one is, and how one is faring' ["wie 
einem ist und wird"]. In this 'how one is', having a mood brings Being to 
its "there". 

In having a mood, Dasein is always disclosed moodwise as that entity 
to which it has been delivered over in its Being; and in this way it has 
been delivered over to the Being which, in existing, it has to be. "To be 
disclosed" does not mean "to be known as this sort of thing". And even 
in the most indifferent and inoffensive everydayness the Being of Dasein 
can burst forth as a naked 'that it is and has to be' [als nacktes "Dass es 
est ist und zu sein hat"]. The pure 'that it is' shows itself, but the "whence" 
and the "whither" remain in darkness. The fact that it is just as everyday 
a matter for Dasein not to 'give in' ["nachgibt"] to such moods — in 
other words, not to follow up [nachgeht] their disclosure and allow itself to 
be brought before that which is disclosed — is no evidence against the 
phenomenal facts of the case, in which the Being of the "there" is dis- 
closed moodwise in its "that-it-is"; 2 it is rather evidence for it. In an 

1 In this sentence 'equanimity' represents 'Gleichmut', 'ill-humour' represents 'Miss- 
mut', and 'bad moods' represents 'Verstimmungen'. 

2 '. . . den phanomenalen Tatbestand der stimmungsmassigen Erschlossenheit des 
Seins des Da in seinem Dass . . .' It would be more literal to write simply 'in its 
"that" '; but to avoid a very natural confusion between the conjunction 'that' and 
pronoun 'that', we shall translate 'das Dass' as 'the "that-it-is" ', even though we use 
the same expression unhyphenated for 'das "Dass es ist" ' in this paragraph and in that 
which follows. (The striking contrast between the 'Da' and the 'Dass' is of course lost in 

1 74 Being and Time I. 5 

orttoo-existentiell sense, Dasein for the most part evades the Being which 
is disclosed in the mood. In an 0nto/0£«:0-existential sense, this means that 
even in that to which such a mood pays no attention, Dasein is unveiled 
in its Being-delivered-over to the "there". In the evasion itself the "there" 
is something disclosed. 

This characteristic of Dasein's Being — this 'that it is' — is veiled in its 
"whence" and "whither", yet disclosed in itself all the more unveiledly; 
we call it the "thrownness" 1 of this entity into its "there"; indeed, it is 
thrown in such a way that, as Being-in-the-world, it is the "there". The 
expression "thrownness" is meant to suggest the facticity of its being 
delivered over, 2 The 'that it is and has to be' which is disclosed in Dasein's 
state-of-mind is not the same 'that-it-is' which expresses ontologico- 
categorially the factuality belonging to presence-at-hand. This factuality 
becomes accessible only if we ascertain it by looking at it. The "that-it-is" 
which is disclosed in Dasein's state-of-mind must rather be conceived as 
an existential attribute of the entity which has Being-in-the-world as its 
way of Being. Facticity is not the factuality of the factum brutum of some- 
thing present-at-hand y but a characteristic of Dasein's Being — one which has been 
taken up into existence, even if proximally it has been thrust aside. The "that-it-is" 
of facticity never becomes something that we can come across by behold- 
ing it. 

An entity of the character of Dasein is its "there" in such a way that, 
whether explicitly or not, it finds itself [sich befindet] in its thrownness. 
In a state-of-mind Dasein is always brought before itself, and has 
always found itself, not in the sense of coming across itself by perceiving 
itself, but in the sense of finding itself in the mood that it has. 3 As an entity 
which has been delivered over to its Being, it remains also delivered over 
to the fact that it must always have found itself— but found itself in a 
way of finding which arises not so much from a direct seeking as rather 
from a fleeing. The way in which the mood discloses is not one in which 
we look at thrownness, but one in which we turn towards or turn away 
[An- und Abkehr], For the most part the mood does not turn towards 
the burdensome character of Dasein which is manifest in it, and least of all 
does it do so in the mood of elation when this burden has been alleviated. 
It is always by way of a state-of-mind that this turning-away is what it is. 

1 'Geworfenheif. This important term, which Heidegger introduces here, is further 
discussed in Section 38. 

2 'Der Ausdruck Geworfenheit soil die Faktizitat der Uberantwortwg andeuten* On the 
distinction between 'facticity' and 'factuality', see H. 56 above. 

3 In this sentence there is a contrast between 'wahrnehmendes Sich-vorfinden' ('coming 
across itself by perceiving') and 'gestimmtes Sichbefinden' ('finding itself in the mood 
that it has'). In the next sentence, on the other hand, 'found' and 'finding' represent 
'gefunden' and 'Finden'. 

I. 5 Being and Time 175 

Phenomenally, we would wholly fail to recognize both what mood 
discloses and how it discloses, if that which is disclosed were to be com- 
pared with what Dasein is acquainted with, knows, and believes 'at the 
same time' when it has such a mood. Even if Dasein is 'assured' in its 
belief about its 'whither', or if, in rational enlightenment, it supposes 
itself to know about its "whence", all this counts for nothing as against 
the phenomenal facts of the case: for the mood brings Dasein before the 
"that-it-is" of its "there", which, as such, stares it in the face with the 
inexorability of an enigma. 1 From the existential-ontological point of view, 
there is not the slightest justification for minimizing what is 'evident' in 
states-of-mind, by measuring it against the apodictic certainty of a theo- 
retical cognition of something which is purely present-at-hand. However 
the phenomena are no less falsified when they are banished to the sanc- 
tuary of the irrational. When irrationalism, as the counterplay of ration- 
alism, talks about the things to which rationalism is blind, it does so only 
with a squint. 

Factically, Dasein can, should, and must, through knowledge and will, 
become master of its moods; in certain possible ways of existing, this may 
signify a priority of volition and cognition. Only we must not be misled 
by this into denying that ontologically mood is a primordial kind of Being 
for Dasein, in which Dasein is disclosed to itself prior to all cognition and 
volition, and beyond their range of disclosure. And furthermore, when we 
master a mood, we do so by way of a counter-mood; we are never free 
of moods. Ontologically, we thus obtain as the first essential characteristic 
of states-of-mind that they disclose Dasein in its thrownness, and— proximally and 
for the most part — in the manner of an evasive turning-away. 

From what has been said we can see already that a state-of-mind is 
very remote from anything like coming across a psychical condition by 
the kind of apprehending which first turns round and then back. Indeed 
it is so far from this, that only because the "there" has already been dis- 
closed in a state-of-mind can immanent reflection come across 'Experiences' 
at all. The 'bare mood' discloses the "there" more primordially, but corre- 
spondingly it closes it of more stubbornly than any /^perceiving. 

This is shown by bad moods. In these, Dasein becomes blind to itself, 
the environment with which it is concerned veils itself, the circumspection 
of concern gets led astray. States-of-mind are so far from being reflected 
upon, that precisely what they do is to assail Dasein in its unreflecting 
devotion to the 'world' with which it is concerned and on which it expends 

1 '. . . so verschlagt das alles nichts gegen den phanomenalen Tatbestand, dass die 
Stimmung das Dasein vor das Dass seines Da bringt, als welches es ihm in unerbittiicher 
Ratselhaftigkeit entgegenstarrt.' The pronoun 'es' (the reference of which is not entirely 
unambiguous) appears only in the later editions. 

176 Being and Time I. 5 

itself. A mood assails us. It comes neither from 'outside* nor from 'inside', 
but arises out of Being-in-the-world, as a way of such Being. But with the 
negative distinction between state-of-mind and the reflective appre- 
hending of something 'within', we have thus reached a positive insight 
into their character as disclosure. The mood has already disclosed, in every 
case, Being-in-the-world as a whole, and makes it possible first of all to direct one- 
self towards something. Having a mood is not related to the psychical in the 
first instance, and is not itself an inner condition which then reaches forth 
in an enigmatical way and puts its mark on Things and persons. It is in 
this that the second essential characteristic of states-of-mind shows itself. 
We have seen that the world, Dasein-with, and existence are equiprimordi- 
ally disclosed', and state-of-mind is a basic existential species of their dis- 
closedness, because this disclosedness itself is essentially Being-in-the-world. 1 
Besides these two essential characteristics of states-of-mind which have 
been explained — the disclosing of thrownness and the current disclosing 
of Being-in-the-world as a whole — we have to notice a third, which con- 
tributes above all towards a more penetrating understanding of the world- 
hood of the world. As we have said earlier, 111 the world which has already 
been disclosed beforehand permits what is within-the-world to be en- 
countered. This prior disclosedness of the world belongs to Being-in and 
is partly constituted by one's state-of-mind. Letting something be en- 
countered is primarily circumspective', it is not just sensing something, or 
staring at it. It implies circumspective concern, and has the character of 
becoming affected in some way [Betroffenwerdens] ; we can see this more 
precisely from the standpoint of state-of-mind. But to be affected by the 
unserviceable, resistant, or threatening character [Bedrohlichkeit] of that 
which is ready-to-hand, becomes ontologically possible only in so far as 
Being-in as such has been determined existentially beforehand in such a 
manner that what it encounters within-the-world can "matter" to it in 
this way. The fact that this sort of thing can "matter" to it is grounded in 
one's state-of-mind; and as a state-of-mind it has already disclosed the 
world — as something by which it can be threatened, for instance. 2 Only 
something which is in the state-of-mind of fearing (or fearlessness) can 
discover that what is environmentally ready-to-hand is threatening. 
Dasein's openness to the world is constituted existentially by the attune- 
ment of a state-of-mind. 

And only because the 'senses' [die "Sinne"] belong ontologically to an 

1 *. . . weil diesc selbst wesenhaft In-der-Welt-sein ist.* It is not clear whether the 
antecedent of 'diese' is 'Existenz' ('existence') or 'ErscfdossenheiV ('disclosedness 1 ) . 

2 'Diese Anganglichkeit griindet in der Befindlichkeit, als welche sie die Welt zum 
Beispiel auf Bedrohbarkeit hin erschlossen hat.' The pronoun 'sie* appears only in the 
newer editions. 

I- 5 Being and Time xyy 

entity whose kind of Being is Being-in-the-world with a state-of mind, 1 can 
they be 'touched' by anything or 'have a sense for' ["Sinn haben fur"] 
something in such a way that what touches them shows itself in an affect. 2 
Under the strongest pressure and resistance, nothing like an affect would 
come about, and the resistance itself would remain essentially undis- 
covered, if Being-in-the-world, with its state-of-mind, had not already 
submitted itself [sich schon angewiesen] to having entities within-the- 
world "matter" to it in a way which its moods have outlined in advance. 
Existentially, a state-of-mind implies a disclosive submission to the world, out of 
which we can encounter something that matters to us. Indeed from the ontological 
point of view we must as a general principle leave the primary discovery of 
the world to 'bare mood'. Pure beholding, even if it were to penetrate to 
the innermost core of the Being of something present-at-hand, could never 
discover anything like that which is threatening. 

The fact that, even though states-of-mind are primarily disclosive, every- 
day circumspection goes wrong and to a large extent succumbs to delusion 
because of them, is a pr) 6v [non-being] when measured against the idea 
of knowing the 'world' absolutely. But if we make evaluations which are 
so unjustified ontologically, we shall completely fail to recognize the 
existentially positive character of the capacity for delusion. It is precisely 
when we see the 'world' unsteadily and fitfully in accordance with our 
moods, that the ready- to-hand shows itself in its specific worldhood, which 
is never the same from day to day. By looking at the world theoretically, 
we have already dimmed it down to the uniformity of what is purely 
present-at-hand, though admittedly this uniformity comprises a new 
abundance of things which can be discovered by simply characterizing 
them. Yet even the purest dewpla [theory] has not left all moods behind 
it; even when we look theoretically at what is just present-at-hand, it does 
not show itself purely as it looks unless this decopla lets it come towards us 
in a tranquil tarrying alongside . . . , in paar^v-q and Siaycoy-qM Any cogni- 
tive determining has its existential-ontological Constitution in the state-of- 
mind of Being-in-the-world ; but pointing this out is not to be confused 
with attempting to surrender science ontically to 'feeling'. 

1 *befindlichen In-der-Welt-seins\ In previous chapters we have usually translated 
'befindlich* by such expressions as 'which is to be found', etc. See, for instance, H. 67, 70, 
117 above, where this adjective is applied to a number of things which are hardly of the 
character of Dasein. In the present chapter, however, the word is tied up with the special 
sense of 'Befindlichkeit' as 'state-of-mind', and will be translated by expressions such as 
'with a state-of-mind', 'having a state-of-mind', etc. 

2 In this sentence Heidegger has been calling attention to two ways of using the word 
'Sinn' which might well be expressed by the word 'sense' but hardly by the word 'mean- 
ing': (1) 'die Sinne' as 'the five senses' or the 'senses' one has when one is 'in one's senses'; 
(2) 'der Sinn* as the 'sense' one has 'for' something — one's 'sense for clothes', one's 'sense 
of beauty', one's 'sense of the numinous', etc. Cf. the discussion of 'Sinn' on H. 151 f. below. 

1 78 Being and Time I. 5 

The different modes of state-of-mind and the ways in which they are 
interconnected in their foundations cannot be Interpreted within the 
problematic of the present investigation. The phenomena have long been 
well-known ontically under the terms "affects" and "feelings" and have 
always been under consideration in philosophy. It is not an accident that 
the earliest systematic Interpretation of affects that has come down to us 
is not treated in the framework of 'psychology'. Aristotle investigates the 
7rd$7i [affects] in the second book of his Rhetoric. Contrary to the tradi- 
tional orientation, according to which rhetoric is conceived as the kind of 
thing we 'learn in school', this work of Aristotle must be taken as the first 
systematic hermeneutic of the everydayness of Being with one another. 
Publicness, as the kind of Being which belongs to the "they" (Cf. Section 
27), not only has in general its own way of having a mood, but needs 
moods and 'makes' them for itself. It is into such a mood and out of such 
a mood that the orator speaks. He must understand the possibilities of 
moods in order to rouse them and guide them aright. 

How the Interpretation of the affects was carried further in the Stoa, 
and how it was handed down to modern times through patristic and 
scholastic theology, is well known. What has escaped notice is that the 
basic ontological Interpretation of the affective life in general has been able 
to make scarcely one forward step worthy of mention since Aristotle. On 
the contrary, affects and feelings come under the theme of psychical 
phenomena, functioning as a third class of these, usually along with idea- 
tion [Vorstellen] and volition. They sink to the level of accompanying 

It has been one of the merits of phenomenological research that it has 
again brought these phenomena more unrestrictedly into our sight. Not 
only that: Scheler, accepting the challenges of Augustine and Pascal, v 
has guided the problematic to a consideration of how acts which 'repre- 
sent' and acts which 'take an interest' are interconnected in their founda- 
tions. But even here the existential-ontological foundations of the 
phenomenon of the act in general are admittedly still obscure. 

A state-of-mind not only discloses Dasein in its thrownness and its 
submission to that world which is already disclosed with its own Being; 
it is itself the existential kind of Being in which Dasein constantly sur- 
renders itself to the 'world' and lets the 'world' "matter" to it in such a 
way that somehow Dasein evades its very self. The existential constitution 
of such evasion will become clear in the phenomenon of failing. 

A state-of-mind is a basic existential way in which Dasein is its "there". 
It not only characterizes Dasein ontologically, but, because of what it 
discloses, it is at the same time methodologically significant in principle 

5 Being and Time ijq 

for the existential analytic. Like any ontological Interpretation whatso- 
ever, this analytic can only, so to speak, "listen in" to some previously 
disclosed entity as regards its Being. And it will attach itself to Dasein's 
distinctive and most far-reaching possibilities of disclosure, in order to 
get information about this entity from these. Phenomenological Inter- 
pretation must make it possible for Dasein itself to disclose things primord- 
ially; it must, as it were, let Dasein interpret itself. Such Interpretation 
takes part in this disclosure only in order to raise to a conceptual level the 
phenomenal content of what has been disclosed, and to do so existentially. 

Later (Cf. Section 40) 1 we shall provide an Interpretation of anxiety 
as such a basic state-of-mind of Dasein, and as one which is significant from 
the existential-ontological standpoint; with this in view, we shall now 
illustrate the phenomenon of state-of-mind even more concretely in its 
determinate mode otfear. 

If 30. Fear as a Mode of State-of-Mind 

There are three points of view from which the phenomenon of fear may 
be considered. We shall analyse: (1) that in the face of which we fear, 
(2) fearing, and (3) that about which we fear. These possible ways of 
looking at fear are not accidental; they belong together. With them the 
general structure of states-of-mind comes to the fore. We shall complete 
our analysis by alluding to the possible ways in which fear may be 
modified; each of these pertains to different items in the structure of fear. 

That in the face of which we fear, the 'fearsome', 2 is in every case some- 
thing which we encounter within-the-world and which may have either 
readiness-to-hand, presence-at-hand, or Dasein-with as its kind of Being. 
We are not going to make an ontical report on those entities which can 
often and for the most part be 'fearsome': we are to define the fearsome 
phenomenally in its fearsomeness. What do we encounter in fearing that 
belongs to the fearsome as such? That in the face of which we fear can 
be characterized as threatening. Here several points must be considered. 
1. What we encounter has detrimentality as its kind of involvement. It 
shows itself within a context of involvements. 2. The target of this detri- 
mentality is a definite range of what can be affected by it; thus the detri- 
mentality is itself made definite, and comes from a definite region. 3. The 
region itself is well known as such, and so i:> that which is coming from it; 
but that which is coming from it has something 'queer' about it. 3 4. That 
which is detrimental, as something that threatens us, is not yet within 

1 The earliest editions cite Section 39 rather than Section 40. This has been corrected 
in the list of errata. 

2 'Das Wovor der Furcht, das Furchtbare . . .* 
a '. . . mit dem es nicht "geheuer" ist.' 

180 Being and Time I. 5 

striking distance [in beherrschbarer Nahe], but it is coming close. In such 
a drawing-close, the detrimentality radiates out, and therein lies its 
threatening character. 5. This drawing-close is within what is close by. 
Indeed, something may be detrimental in the highest degree and may even 
be coming constantly closer; but if it is still far off, its fearsomeness remains 
veiled. If, however, that which is detrimental draws close and is close by, 
then it is threatening : it can reach us, and yet it may not. As it draws close, 
this 'it can, and yet in the end it may not' becomes aggravated. We say, 
"It is fearsome". 6. This implies that what is detrimental as coming- 
close close by carries with it the patent possibility that it may stay away 
and pass us by; but instead of lessening or extinguishing our fearing, this 
enhances it. 

In fearing as such, what we have thus characterized as threatening is 
freed and allowed to matter to us. We do not first ascertain a future evil 
(malum futurum) and then fear it. But neither does fearing first take note 
of what is drawing close; it discovers it beforehand in its fearsomeness. 
And in fearing, fear can then look at the fearsome explicitly, and 'make it 
clear' to itself. Circumspection sees the fearsome because it has fear as its 
state-of-mind. Fearing, as a slumbering possibility of Being-in-the-world 
in a state-of-mind (we call this possibility Tearfulness' [ <e Furchtsamkeit"]) s 
has already disclosed the world, in that out of it something like the fear- 
some may come close. The potentiality for coming close is itself freed by 
the essential existential spatiality of Being-in-the-world. 

That which fear fears about is that very entity which is afraid — Dasein. 1 
Only an entity for which in its Being this very Being is an issue, can be 
afraid. Fearing discloses this entity as endangered and abandoned to 
itself. Fear always reveals Dasein in the Being of its "there", even if it 
does so in varying degrees of explicitness. If we fear about our house and 
home, this cannot be cited as an instance contrary to the above definition 
of what we fear about; for as Being-in-the-world, Dasein is in every case 
conccrnful Being-alongside. 2 Proximally and for the most part, Dasein is 

1 *Das U'orum die Furcht furchtet, ist das sich furchtende Sciende sclbst, das 
Dasein.' W hile it is convenient to translate 'das Worum der Furcht' as 'that which one 
fears about', this expression must be taken in a narrower sense than one would ordinarily 
expect in English. What Heidegger generally has in mind is rather the person on whose 
behalf or for whose sake one fears. (Cf. our remarks on *um* in note 1, p. 93, H. 65, and 
note 2, p. 98, H. 69 above.) Thus 'fiirchten urn' comes closer to the ordinary meaning 
of *fcar for' than it does to that of 'fear about'. We shall soon see, however, that Heidegger 
also uses the expression 'fiirchten fur', for which 'fear for' would seem to be the natural 
translation. Notice that what he then has in mind — namely, our fearing for Others — is 
only a special case of 'fearing for' in the ordinary English sense, and likewise only a special 
ease of what we shall call 'fearing about' in this translation. 

2 'Sein bei'. Here our usual translation, 'Being-alongside', fails to bring out the con- 
nection. A German reader would recall at once that *bei' may mean, 'at the home of* like 
the French *chez\ See our note 3, p. 80, H. 54 above. 

5 Being and Time x q x 

in terms of what it is concerned with. When this is endangered, Being- 
alongside is threatened. Fear discloses Dasein predominantly in a privative 
way. It bewilders us and makes us 'lose our heads'. Fear closes off our 
endangered Being-in, and yet at the same time lets us see it, so that when 
the fear has subsided, Dasein must first find its way about again. 

Whether privatively or positively, fearing about something, as being- 
afraid m the face of something, always discloses equiprimordially entities 
within-the-world and Being-in— the former as threatening and the latter 
as threatened. Fear is a mode of state-of-mind. 

One can also fear about Others, and we then speak of "fearing for" 
them [Fiirchten fur sic]. This fearing for the Other does not take away his 
fear. Such a possibility has been ruled out already, because the Other, 
for whom we fear, need not fear at all on his part. It is precisely when the 
Other is not afraid and charges recklessly at what is threatening him that 
we fear most for him. Fearing-for is a way of having a co-state-of-mind 
with Others, but not necessarily a being-afraid-with or even a fearing- 
with-one-another.* One can "fear about" without "being-afraid". Yet 
when viewed more strictly, fearing-about is << being-afraid-for-o^// , ^ 2 
Here what one "is apprehensive about" is one's Being-with with the 
Other, who might be torn away from one. 3 That which is fearsome is not 
aimed directly at him who fears with someone else. Fearing-about knows 
that in a certain way it is unaffected, and yet it is co-affected in so far as 
the Dasein-with for which it fears is affected. Fearing-about is therefore 
not a weaker form of being-afraid. Here the issue is one of existential 
modes, not of degrees of 'feeling-tones'. Fearing-about does not lose its 
specific genuiness even if it is not 'really' afraid. 

There can be variations in the constitutive items of the full phenomenon 
of fear. Accordingly, different possibilities of Being emerge in fearing. 
Bringing-close close by, belongs to the structure of the threatening as 
encounterable. If something threatening breaks in suddenly upon con- 
cernful Being-in-the-world (something threatening in its 'not right away, 
but any moment'), fear becomes alarm [Erschrecken]. So, in what is 
threatening we must distinguish between the closest way in which it 
brings itself close, and the manner in which this bringing-close gets 
encountered— its suddenness. That in the face of which we are alarmed is 
proximally something well known and familiar. But if, on the other hand, 

1 'Furchten fur ... ist eine Weise der Mitbefindlichkeit mit den Anderen, aber nicht 
notwendig ein Sich-mitfurchten oder gar ein Miteinanderfurchten.' 

8 'ein StcAfurchten\ We have hitherto translated 'sich fiirchten' with various forms of 
be afraid', which is its usual signification in ordinary German. In this passage, however, 
the emphasis on the reflexive pronoun 'sich' clearly calls for 'being-afraid-for-o/itttf/f \ 

8 ' "Befurchtet" ist dabei das Mitsein mit dem Anderen, der einem entrissen werden 

1 82 Being and Time I. 5 

that which threatens has the character of something altogether unfamiliar, 
then fear becomes dread [Graueri]. And where that which threatens is laden 
with dread, and is at the same time encountered with the suddenness of 
the alarming, then fear becomes terror [Entsetzen]. There are further 
variations of fear, which we know as timidity, shyness, misgiving, becom- 
ing startled. All modifications of fear, as possibilities of having a state-of- 
mind, point to the fact that Dasein as Being-in-the-world is 'fearful' 
["furchtsam"]. This Tearfulness' is not to be understood in an ontical 
sense as some factical 'individualized* disposition, 1 but as an existential 
possibility of the essential state-of-mind of Dasein in general, though of 
course it is not the only one. 

If 31. Being-there as Understanding 

State-of-mind is one of the existential structures in which the Being of 
the 'there 5 maintains itself. Equiprimordial with it in constituting this 
Being is understanding. A state-of-mind always has its understanding, even 
if it merely keeps it suppressed. Understanding always has its mood. If 
we Interpret understanding as a fundamental existentiale, this indicates 
that this phenomenon is conceived as a basic mode of Dasein's Being. On 
the other hand, 'understanding' in the sense of one possible kind of cog- 
nizing among others (as distinguished, for instance, from 'explaining'), 
must, like explaining, be Interpreted as an existential derivative of that 
primary understanding which is one of the constituents of the Being of 
the "there" in general. 

We have, after all, already come up against this primordial under- 
standing in our previous investigations, though we did not allow it to be 
included explicitly in the theme under discussion. To say that in existing, 
Dasein is its "there", is equivalent to saying that the world is 'there'; its 
Being-there is Being-in. And the latter is likewise 'there', as that for the sake 
of which Dasein is. In the "for- the- sake-of- which", existing Being-in-the- 
world is disclosed as such, and this disclosedness we have called "under- 
standing".^ 1 In the understanding of the "for-the-sake-of- which", the 
significance which is grounded therein, is disclosed along with it. The 
disclosedness of understanding, as the disclosedness of the "fbr-the-sake- 
of-which" and of significance equiprimordially, pertains to the entirety of 
Being-in-the-world. Significance is that on the basis of which the world is 
disclosed as such. To say that the "for-the-sake-of-which" and significance 
are both disclosed in Dasein, means that Dasein is that entity which, as 
Being-in-the-world, is an issue for itself. 

1 . . im ontischen Sinne einer faktischen, "vereinzelten" Veranlagung . . .' While the 
verb 'vereinzeln* often means 'to isolate*, Heidegger does not ordinarily use it in this 
sense. Indeed he contrasts it with the verb 'isolieren*. Gf. H. 188 below. 

5 Being and Time ^3 

When we are talking ontically we sometimes use the expression 'under- 
standing something* with the signification of 'being able to manage 
something', 'being a match for it', 'being competent to do something'.* 
In understanding, as an existentiale, that which we have such competence 
over is not a "what", but Being as existing. The kind of Being which 
Dasein has, as potentiality-for-Being, lies existentially in understanding. 
Dasein is not something present-at-hand which possesses its competence 
for something by way of an extra; it is primarily Being-possible. Dasein is 
in every case what it can be, and in the way in which it is its possibility. 
The Being-possible which is essential for Dasein, pertains to the ways of 
its solicitude for Others and of its concern with the 'world', as we have 
characterized them; and in all these, and always, it pertains to Dasein's 
potentiality-for-Being towards itself, for the sake of itself. The Being- 
possible which Dasein is existentially in every case, is to be sharply 
distinguished both from empty logical possibility and from the contingency 
of something present-at-hand, so far as with the present-at-hand this or 
that can 'come to pass'. 2 As a modal category of presence-at-hand, 
possibility signifies what is not yet actual and what is not at any time necessary. 
It characterizes the merely possible. Ontologically it is on a lower level than 
actuality and necessity. On the other hand, possibility as an existentiale is 
the most primordial and ultimate positive way in which Dasein is 
characterized ontologically. As with existentiality in general, we can, in 
the first instance, only prepare for the problem of possibility. The phenom- 
enal basis for seeing it at all is provided by the understanding as a dis- 
closive potentiality-for-Being. 

Possibility, as an existentiale, does not signify a free-floating potentiality- 
for-Being in the sense of the 'liberty of indifference' (libertas indifferentiae) . 
In every case Dasein, as essentially having a state-of-mind, has already 
got itself into definite possibilities. As the potentiality-for-Being which is 
is, it has let such possibilities pass by; it is constantly waiving the pos- 
sibilities of its Being, or else it seizes upon them and makes mistakes. 3 But 
this means that Dasein is Being-possible which has been delivered over to 
itself— thrown possibility through and through. Dasein is the possibility of 
Being-free for its ownmost potentiality-for-Being. Its Being-possible is 
transparent to itself in different possible ways and degrees. 

Understanding is the Being of such potentiality-for-Being, which is 

m 1 . . in der Bedeutung von "einer Sache vorstehen konnen", "ihr gewachsen sein**, 
etwas kdnnen , V The expression Vorstehen* ('to manage*, 'to be in charge*) is here 
connected with 'verstehen* ('to understand*). 

2 '. . . von der Kontingenz eines Vorhandenen, sofern mit diesem das und jenes "pas- 
sieren" kann.* J * 

a *. . . ergreift sie und vergreift sich.' 

184 Being and Time I. 5 

never something still outstanding as not yet present-at-hand, but which, 
as something which is essentially never present-at-hand, *is y with the 
Being of Dasein, in the sense of existence. Dasein is such that in every case 
it has understood (or alternatively, not understood) that it is to be thus or 
thus. As such understanding it 'knows' what it is capable of— that is, what 
its potentiality-for-Being is capable of. 1 This 'knowing' does not first arise 
from an immanent self-perception, but belongs to the Being of the "there", 
which is essentially understanding. And only because Dasein, in under- 
standing, is its "there", can it go astray and fail to recognize itself. And 
in so far as understanding is accompanied by state-of-mind and as such is 
existentially surrendered to thrownness, Dasein has in every case already 
gone astray and failed to recognize itself. In its potentiality-for-Being it 
is therefore delivered over to the possibility of first finding itself again in 
its possibilities. 

Understanding is the existential Being of Dasein 1 s own potentiality-for-Being; 
and it is so in such a way that this Being discloses in itself what its Being is capable 
of 2 We must grasp the structure of this existentiale more precisely. 

As a disclosure, understanding always pertains to the whole basic 
state of Being-in-the-world. As a potentiality-for-Being, any Being-in is a 
potentiality-for-Being-in-the-world. Not only is the world, qua world, 
disclosed as possible significance, but when that which is within-the- 
world is itself freed, this entity is freed for its own possibilities. That which 
is ready-to-hand is discovered as such in its serviceability, its usability, and 
its detrimentality. The totality of involvements is revealed as the categorial 
whole of a possible interconnection of the ready-to-hand. But even the 
'unity' of the manifold present-at-hand, of Nature, can be discovered 
only if a possibility of it has been disclosed. Is it accidental that the question 
about the Being of Nature aims at the 'conditions of its possibility ? On 
what is such an inquiry based? When confronted with this inquiry, we 
cannot leave aside the question : why are entities which are not of the 
character of Dasein understood in their Being, if they are disclosed in 
accordance with the conditions of their possibility? Kant presupposes 
something of the sort, perhaps rightly. But this presupposition itself 
is something that cannot be left without demonstrating how it is 

Why does the understanding — whatever may be the essential dimen- 
sions of that which can be disclosed in it — always press forward into 
possibilities ? It is because the understanding has in itself the existential 

1 'Als solches Verstehen "weiss" es, woran es mit ihm selbst, das hcisst seincm Sein- 

konnen ist.' 

2 *. . . so zwar, doss dieses Sein an ihm selbst das Woran des mit ihm selbst Seins erschliessU* 

I. 5 Being and Time 185 

structure which we call "projection' 9 . 1 With equal primordiality the under- 
standing projects Dasein's Being both upon its "for-the-sake-of-which" 
and upon significance, as the worldhood of its current world. The char- 
acter of understanding as projection is constitutive for Being-in-the-world 
with regard to the disclosedness of its existentially constitutive state-of- 
Being by which the factical potentiality-for-Being gets its leeway 
[Spielraum], And as thrown, Dasein is thrown into the kind of Being 
which we call "projecting". Projecting has nothing to do with comporting 
oneself towards a plan that has been thought out, and in accordance with 
which Dasein arranges its Being. On the contrary, any Dasein has, as 
Dasein, already projected itself; and as long as it is, it is projecting. As 
long as it is, Dasein always has understood itself and always will under- 
stand itself in terms of possibilities. Furthermore, the character of under- 
standing as projection is such that the understanding does not grasp 
thematically that upon which it projects — that is to say, possibilities. 
Grasping it in such a manner would take away from what is projected its 
very character as a possibility, and would reduce it to the given contents 
which we have in mind; whereas projection, in throwing, throws before 
itself the possibility as possibility, and lets it be as such. 2 As projecting, 
understanding is the kind of Being of Dasein in which it is its possibilities 
as possibilities. 

Because of the kind of Being which is constituted by the existentiale of 
projection, Dasein is constantly 'more' than it factually is, supposing that 
one might want to make an inventory of it as something-at-hand and list 
the contents of its Being, and supposing that one were able to do so. But 
Dasein is never more than it factically is, for to its facticity its potentiality- 
for-Being belongs essentially. Yet as Being-possible, moreover, Dasein is 
never anything less; that is to say, it is existentially that which, in its 

1 'Entwurf'. The basic meaning of this noun and the cognate verb 'entwerfen' is that of 
'throwing' something 'off' or 'away' from one; but in ordinary German usage, and often 
in Heidegger, they take on the sense of 'designing' or 'sketching' some 'project' which is to 
be carried through ; and they may also be used in the more special sense of 'projection' in 
which a geometer is said to 'project' a curve 'upon' a plane. The words 'projection' and 
'project' accordingly lend themselves rather well to translating these words in many 
contexts, especially since their root meanings are very similar to those of 'Entwurf' and 
'entwerfen'; but while the root meaning of 'throwing off' is still very much alive in 
Heidegger's German, it has almost entirely died out in the ordinary English usage of 
projection' and 'project', which in turn have taken on some connotations not felt in the 
German. Thus when in the English translation Dasein is said to 'project* entities, or 
possibilities, or even its own Being 'upon' something, the reader should bear in mind 
that the root meaning of 'throwing' is more strongly felt in the German than in the 

2 \ . . zieht es herab zu einem gegebenen, gemeinten Bestand, wahrend der Entwurf im 
Werfen die Moglichkeit als Moglichkeit sich vorwirft und als solche sein lasst.' The expres- 
sion 'einem etwas vorwerfen' means literally to 'throw something forward to someone', 
but often has the connotation of 'reproaching him with something', or 'throwing some- 
thing in his teeth'. Heidegger may have more than one of these significations in mind. 

1 86 Being and Time I. 5 

potentiality-for-Being, it is not yet Only because the Being of the "there" 
receives its Constitution through understanding and through the char- 
acter of understanding as projection, only because it is what it becomes (or 
alternatively, does not become), can it say to itself 'Become what you are', 
and say this with understanding. 

Projection always pertains to the full disclosedness of Being-in-the- 
world; as potentiality-for-Being, understanding has itself possibilities, 
which are sketched out beforehand within the range of what is essentially 
disclosable in it. Understanding can devote itself primarily to the dis- 
closedness of the world ; that is, Dasein can, proximally and for the most 
part, understand itself in terms of its world. Or else understanding throws 
itself primarily into the "for-the-sake-of-which" ; that is, Dasein exists as 
itself. Understanding is either authentic, arising out of one's own Self as 
such, or inauthentic. The 'in-' of ' Unauthentic" does not mean that 
Dasein cuts itself off from its Self and understands 'only* the world. The 
world belongs to Being-one's-Self as Being-in-the-world. On the other 
hand, authentic understanding, no less than that which is inauthentic, 
can be either genuine or not genuine. As potentiality-for-Being, under- 
standing is altogether permeated with possibility. When one is diverted 
into [Sichverlegen in] one of these basic possibilities of understanding, the 
other is not laid aside [legt . . . nicht ab]. Because understanding, in every case, 
pertains rather to Dasein's full disclosedness as Being-in-the-world, this diversion 
of the understanding is an existential modification of projection as a whole. In under- 
standing the world, Being-in is always understood along with it, while 
understanding of existence as such is always an understanding of the world. 

As factical Dasein, any Dasein has already diverted its potentiality-for- 
Being into a possibility of understanding. 

In its projective character, understanding goes to make up existentially 

what we call Dasein's "sight" [Sicht]. With the disclosedness of the "there", 

this sight is existentially [existenzial seiende]; and Dasein is this sight 

equiprimordially in each of those basic ways of its Being which we have 

already noted: as the circumspection [Umsicht] of concern, as the con- 

siderateness [Rucksicht] of solicitude, and as that sight which is directed 

upon Being as such [Sicht auf das Sein als solches], for the sake of which 

any Dasein is as it is. The sight which is related primarily and on the whole 

to existence we call "transparency" [Durchsichtigkeit]. We choose this term 

to designate 'knowledge of the Self' 1 in a sense which is well understood, 

1 4 "Selbsterkenntnis" \ This should be carefully distinguished from the 'Sichkennen' 
discussed on H. 124-125. Perhaps this distinction can be expressed— though rather crudely 
— by pointing out that we are here concerned with a full and sophisticated knowledge of 
the Self in all its implications, while in the earlier passage we were concerned with the 
kind of 'self-knowledge' which one loses when one 'forgets oneself or does something so 
out of character that one 'no longer knows oneself. 

I. 5 Being and Time 187 

so as to indicate that here it is not a matter of perceptually tracking down 
and inspecting a point called the "Self", but rather one of seizing upon the 
full disclosedness of Being-in-the-world throughout all the constitutive items 
which are essential to it, and doing so with understanding. In existing, 
entities sight * themselves' [sichtet "sich"] only in so far as they have 
become transparent to themselves with equal primordiality in those items 
which are constitutive for their existence: their Being-alongside the 
world and their Being-with Others. 

On the other hand, Dasein's opaqueness [Undurchsichtigkeit] is not 
rooted primarily and solely in Egocentric' self-deceptions; it is rooted just 
as much in lack of acquaintance with the world. 

We must, to be sure, guard against a misunderstanding of the expression 
'sight'. It corresponds to the "clearedness" [Gelichtetheit] which we took 
as characterizing the disclosedness of the "there". 'Seeing' does not mean 
just perceiving with the bodily eyes, but neither does it mean pure non- 
sensory awareness of something present-at-hand in its presence-at-hand. 
In giving an existential signification to "sight", we have merely drawn 
upon the peculiar feature of seeing, that it lets entities which are accessible 
to it be encountered unconcealedly in themselves. Of course, every 'sense' 
does this within that domain of discovery which is genuinely its own. But 
from the beginning onwards the tradition of philosophy has been oriented 
primarily towards 'seeing' as a way of access to entities and to Being. To 
keep the connection with this tradition, we may formalize "sight" and 
"seeing" enough to obtain therewith a universal term for characterizing 
any access to entities or to Being, as access in general. 

By showing how all sight is grounded primarily in understanding (the 
circumspection of concern is understanding as common sense [Verstdndig- 
keit]), we have deprived pure intuition [Anschauen] of its priority, which 
corresponds noetically to the priority of the present-at-hand in traditional 
ontology. 'Intuition' and 'thinking' are both derivatives of understanding, 
and already rather remote ones. Even the phenomenological 'intuition of 
essences' ["Wesensschau"] is grounded in existential understanding. We 
can decide about this kind of seeing only if we have obtained explicit 
conceptions of Being and of the structure of Being, such as only phenomena 
in the phenomenological sense can become. 

The disclosedness of the "there" in understanding is itself a way of 
Dasein's potentiality-for-Being. In the way in which its Being is projected 
both upon the "for-the-sake-of-which" and upon significance (the world), 
there lies the disclosedness of Being in general. Understanding of Being 
has already been taken for granted in projecting upon possibilities. In 
projection, Being is understood, though not ontologically conceived. An 

1 88 Being and Time I. 5 

entity whose kind of Being is the essential projection of Being-in-the- 
world has understanding of Being, and has this as constitutive for its Being. 
What was posited dogmatically at an earlier stage vlli now gets exhibited 
in terms of the Constitution of the Being in which Dasein as understanding 
is its "there". The existential meaning of this understanding of Being 
cannot be satisfactorily clarified within the limits of this investigation 
except on the basis of the Temporal Interpretation of Being. 

As existentialia } states-of-mind and understanding characterize the 
primordial disclosedness of Being-in~the-world. By way of having a mood, 
Dasein 'sees' possibilities, in terms of which it is. In the projective 
disclosure of such possibilities, it already has a mood in every case. 
The projection of its ownmost potentiality-for-Being has been delivered 
over to the Fact of its thrownness into the "there". Has not Dasein's 
Being become more enigmatical now that we have explicated the 
existential constitution of the Being of the "there" in the sense of thrown 
projection? It has indeed. We must first let the full enigmatical character 
of this Being emerge, even if all we can do is to come to a genuine break- 
down over its 'solution', and to formulate anew the question about the 
Being of thrown projective Being-in-the-world. 

But in the first instance, even if we are just to bring into view the every- 
day kind of Being in which there is understanding with a state-of-mind, 
and if we are to do so in a way which is phenomenally adequate to the full 
disclosedness of the "there", we must work out these existentialia con- 
cretely. 1 

32. Understanding and Interpretation 2 

As understanding, Dasein projects its Being upon possibilities. This 
Being-towards-possibilities which understands is itself a potentiality-for- 
Being, and it is so because of the way these possibilities, as disclosed, 
exert their counter-thrust [Ruckschlag] upon Dasein. The projecting of 
the understanding has its own possibility — that of developing itself [sich 
auszubilden]. This development of the understanding we call "inter- 
pretation". 3 In it the understanding appropriates understandingly that 
which is understood by it. In interpretation, understanding does not 
become something different. It becomes itself. Such interpretation is 
grounded existentially in understanding; the latter does not arise from the 
former. Nor is interpretation the acquiring of information about what is 

1 'konkreten*. The earlier editions have 'konkreteren' ('more concretely'). 

2 * Auslegung 1 . See our note 3, p. 19, H. 1 above. 

3 'Auslegung'. The older editions have 'Auslegung'. 

I. 5 Being and Time 189 

understood; it is rather the working-out of possibilities projected in 
understanding. In accordance with the trend of these preparatory 
analyses of everyday Dasein, we shall pursue the phenomenon of inter- 
pretation in understanding the world — that is, in inauthentic under- 
standing, and indeed in the mode of its genuineness. 

In terms of the significance which is disclosed in understanding the 
world, concernful Being-alongside the ready-to-hand gives itself to 
understand whatever involvement that which is encountered can have. 1 
To say that "circumspection discovers" means that the 'world' which has 
already been understood comes to be interpreted. The ready-to-hand 
comes explicitly into the sight which understands. All preparing, putting to 
rights, repairing, improving, rounding-out, are accomplished in the 
following way: we take apart 2 in its "in-order-to" that which is circum- 
spectively ready-to-hand, and we concern ourselves with it in accordance 
with what becomes visible through this process. That which has been 
circumspectively taken apart with regard to its "in-order-to", and taken 
apart as such — that which is explicitly understood — has the structure of 
something as something. The circumspective question as to what this particu- 
lar thing that is ready-to-hand may be, receives the circumspectively 
interpretative answer that it is for such and such a purpose [es ist zum . . .]. 
If we tell what it is for [des Wozu], we are not simply designating some- 
thing; but that which is designated is understood as that as which we are 
to take the thing in question. That which is disclosed in understanding — 
that which is understood — is already accessible in such a way that its 'as 
which' can be made to stand out explicitly. The £ as' makes up the struc- 
ture of the explicitness of something that is understood. It constitutes the 
interpretation. In dealing with what is environmentally ready-to-hand 
by interpreting it circumspectively, we 'see' it as a table, a door, a car- 
riage, or a bridge; but what we have thus interpreted [Ausgelegte] need 
not necessarily be also taken apart [auseinander zu legen] by making an 
assertion which definitely characterizes it. Any mere pre-predicative seeing 
of the ready-to-hand is, in itself, something which already understands 
and interprets. But does not the absence of such an 'as' make up the 
mereness of any pure perception of something? Whenever we see with this 
kind of sight, we already do so understandingly and interpretatively. In 
the mere encountering of something, it is understood in terms of a totality 
of involvements; and such seeing hides in itself the explicitness of the 
assignment-relations (of the "in-order-to") which belong to that totality. 

1 . . gibt sich . . . zu verstehen, welche Bewandtnis es je mit dem Begegnenden haben 

2 'auseinandergelegt'. Heidegger is contrasting the verb 'auslegen' (literally, 'lay out') 
with the cognate 'auseinanderlegen' ('lay asunder' or 'take apart'). 

I go Being and Time I. 5 

That which is understood gets Articulated when the entity to be under- 
stood is brought close interpretatively by taking as our clue the 'some- 
thing as something' ; and this Articulation lies before [liegt vor] our making 
any thematic assertion about it. In such an assertion the c as' does not 
turn up for the first time; it just gets expressed for the first time, and this 
is possible only in that it lies before us as something expressible. 1 The fact 
that when we look at something, the explicitness of assertion can be absent, 
does not justify our denying that there is any Articulative interpretation 
in such mere seeing, and hence that there is any as-structure in it. When 
we have to do with anything, the mere seeing of the Things which are 
closest to us bears in itself the structure of interpretation, and in so primor- 
dial a manner that just to grasp something free, as it were, of the fi *aj", 
requires a certain readjustment. When we merely stare at something, our 
just-having-it-before-us lies before us as a failure to understand it any more. 
This grasping which is free of the "as", is a privation of the kind of seeing 
in which one merely understands. It is not more primordial than that kind 
of seeing, but is derived from it. If the 'as' is ontically unexpressed, this 
must not seduce us into overlooking it as a constitutive state for under- 
standing, existential and a priori. 

But if we never perceive equipment that is ready-to-hand without 
already understanding and interpreting it, and if such perception lets us 
circumspectively encounter something as something, does this not mean 
that in the first instance we have experienced something purely present- 
at-hand, and then taken it as a door, as a house? This would be a 
misunderstanding of the specific way in which interpretation functions as 
disclosure. In interpreting, we do not, so to speak, throw a 'signification' 
over some naked thing which is present-at-hand, we do not stick a value 

on it; but when something within-the-world is encountered as such, the 


1 '. . . was allein so moglich ist, dass es als Aussprechbares vor-liegt.' Here we follow the 
reading of the earlier editions. The hyphen in Vor-liegt* comes at the end of the line in the 
later editions, but is undoubtedly meant to suggest (like the italicization of the 'vor' in 
the previous sentence) that this verb is to be interpreted with unusual literalness. 

This paragraph is noteworthy for an exploitation of the prefix 'aus' ('out*), which fails 
to show up in our translation. Literally an 'Aussage' ('assertion') is something which is 
'said out'; an 'Auslegung' ('interpretation') is a 'laying-out'; that which is 'ausdriicklich' 
('explicit') is something that has been 'pressed out'; that which is 'aussprechbar' (our 
'expressible') is something that can be 'spoken out'. 

The verbs 'ausdrucken' and 'aussprechen' are roughly synonymous; but 'aussprechen' 
often has the more specific connotations of 'pronunciation', 'pronouncing oneself, 'speak- 
ing one's mind', 'finishing what one has to say', etc. While it would be possible to reserve 
'express' for 'ausdrucken' and translate 'aussprechen' by some such phrase as 'speak out', 
it is more convenient to use 'express' for both verbs, especially since 'aussprechen' and its 
derivatives have occurred very seldom before the present chapter, in which 'ausdrucken' 
rarely appears. On the other hand, we can easily distinguish between the more frequent 
'ausdruckfich' and 'ausgesprochen' by translating the latter as 'expressed' or 'expressly', 
and reserving 'explicit' for both 'ausdriicklich' and 'explizit'. 

I. 5 Being and Time 191 

thing in question already has an involvement which is disclosed in our 
understanding of the world, and this involvement is one which gets laid 
out by the interpretation. 1 

The ready-to-hand is always understood in terms of a totality of involve- 
ments. This totality need not be grasped explicitly by a thematic inter- 
pretation. Even if it has undergone such an interpretation, it recedes into 
an understanding which does not stand out from the background. And 
this is the very mode in which it is the essential foundation for everyday 
circumspective interpretation. In every case this interpretation is grounded 
in something we have in advance — in a fore-having. 2 As the appropriation of 
understanding, the interpretation operates in Being towards a totality of 
involvements which is already understood — a Being which understands. 
When something is understood but is still veiled, it becomes unveiled by an 
act of appropriation, and this is always done under the guidance of a 
point of view, which fixes that with regard to which what is understood is 
to be interpreted. In every case interpretation is grounded in something we see 
in advance — in a. fore-sight. This fore-sight 'takes the first cut' out of what has 
been taken into our fore-having, and it does so with a view to a definite way 
in which this can be interpreted. 3 Anything understood which is held in our 
fore-having and towards which we set our sights 'foresightedly', becomes 
conceptualizable through the interpretation. In such an interpretation, 
the way in which the entity we are interpreting is to be conceived can be 
drawn from the entity itself, or the interpretation can force the entity 
into concepts to which it is opposed in its manner of Being. In either case, 
the interpretation has already decided for a definite way of conceiving it, 
either with finality or with reservations; it is grounded in something we 
grasp in advance — in a fore-conception. 

Whenever something is interpreted as something, the interpretation 
will be founded essentially upon fore-having, fore-sight, and fore-con- 
ception. An interpretation is never a presuppositionless apprehending of 

1 . . die durch die Auslegung herausgelegt wird.' 

2 In this paragraph Heidegger introduces the important words 'Vorhabe', 'Vorsicht', 
and 'Vorgriff'. 'Vorhabe' is perhaps best translated by some such expression as 'what we 
have in advance' or 'what we have before us' ; but we shall usually find it more convenient 
to adopt the shorter term 'fore-having', occasionally resorting to hendiadys, as in the 
present sentence, and we shall handle the other terms in the same manner. 'Vorsicht' 
('what we see in advance' or 'fore-sight') is the only one of these expressions which occurs 
in ordinary German usage, and often has the connotation of 'caution' or 'prudence' ; 
Heidegger, however, uses it in a more general sense somewhat more akin to the English 
'foresight', without the connotation of a shrewd and accurate prediction. 'Vorgriff' ('what 
we grasp in advance' or 'fore-conception') is related to the verb 'vorgreifen' ('to antici- 
pate') as well as to the noun "Begriff ". 

3 'Die Auslegung griindet jeweils in einer Vorsicht, die das in Vorhabe Genommene auf 
eine bestimmte Auslegbarkeit hin "anschneidet'V The idea seems to be that just as the 
person who cuts off the first slice of a loaf of bread gets the loaf 'started', the fore-sight 
makes a start' on what we have in advance — the fore-having. 

192 Being and Time I. 5 

something presented to us. 1 If, when one is engaged in a particular con- 
crete kind of interpretation, in the sense of exact textual Interpretation, 
one likes to appeal [beruft] to what 'stands there', then one finds that 
what 'stands there' in the first instance is nothing other than the obvious 
undiscussed assumption [Vormeinung] of the person who does the 
interpreting. In an interpretative approach there lies such an assumption, 
as that which has been 'taken for granted' ["gesetzt"] with the interpre- 
tation as such — that is to say, as that which has been presented in our 
fore-having, our fore-sight, and our fore-conception. 

How are we to conceive the character of this 'fore' ? Have we done so if 
we say formally that this is something 'a priori 9 ? Why does understanding, 
which we have designated as a fundamental existentiale of Dasein, have 
this structure as its own? Anything interpreted, as something interpreted, 
has the 'as'-structure as its own; and how is this related to the 'fore' 
structure? The phenomenon of the 'as'-structure is manifestly not to be 
dissolved or broken up 'into pieces'. But is a primordial analytic for it 
thus ruled out? Are we to concede that such phenomena are 'ultimates'? 
Then there would still remain the question, "why?" Or do the fore- 
structure of understanding and the as-structure of interpretation show an 
existential-ontological connection with the phenomenon of projection? 
And does this phenomenon point back to a primordial state of Dasein's 

Before we answer these questions, for which the preparation up till now 
has been far from sufficient, we must investigate whether what has become 
visible as the fore-structure of understanding and the as-structure of 
interpretation, does not itself already present us with a unitary phenome- 
non — one of which copious use is made in philosophical problematics, 
though what is used so universally falls short of the primordiality of 
ontological explication. 

In the projecting of the understanding, entities are disclosed in their 
possibility. The character of the possibility corresponds, on each occasion, 
with the kind of Being of the entity which is understood. Entities within- 
the-world generally are projected upon the world — that is, upon a whole 
of significance, to whose reference-relations concern, as Being-in-the- 
world, has been tied up in advance. When entities within-the-world are 
discovered along with the Being of Dasein — that is, when they have come 
to be understood — we say that they have meaning [Sinn]. But that which 
is understood, taken strictly is not the meaning but the entity, or 

t 1C . . . eines Vorgegebenen.' Here, as in many other passages, we have translated 
vorgeben' by various forms of the verb 'to present*; but it would perhaps be more in line 
with Heidegger's discussion of the prefix 'vor-' to write . . of something fore-given'. 

I. 5 Being and Time 193 

alternatively, Being. Meaning is that wherein the intelligibility [Verstand- 
lichkeit] of something maintains itself. That which can be Articulated in a 
disclosure by which we understand, we call "meaning". The concept of 
meaning embraces the formal existential framework of what necessarily 
belongs to that which an understanding interpretation Articulates. 
Meaning is the "upon-which" of a projection in terms of which something becomes 
intelligible as something; it gets its structure from a fore-having, a foresight, and 
a fore-conception. 1 In so far as understanding and interpretation make up 
the existential state of Being of the "there", "meaning" must be conceived 
as the formal- existential framework of the disclosedness which belongs to 
understanding. Meaning is an existentiale of Dasein, not a property 
attaching to entities, lying 'behind' them, or floating somewhere as an 
'intermediate domain'. Dasein only 'has' meaning, so far as the 
disclosedness of Being-in-the-world can be 'filled in' by the entities dis- 
coverable in that disclosedness. 2 Hence only Dasein can be meaningful [sinn- 
wll] or meaningless [sinnlos]. That is to say, its own Being and the entities 
iisclosed with its Being can be appropriated in understanding, or can 
remain relegated to non-understanding. 

This Interpretation of the concept of 'meaning' is one which is onto- 
iogico-existential in principle; if we adhere to it, then all entities whose 
kind of Being is of a character other than Dasein's must be conceived as 
unmeaning [unsinniges], essentially devoid of any meaning at all. Here 
'unmeaning' does not signify that we are saying anything about the 
value of such entities, but it gives expression to an ontological 
characteristic. And only that which is unmeaning can be absurd [widersinnig]. 
The present-at-hand, as Dasein encounters it, can, as it were, assault 
Dasein's Being; natural events, for instance, can break in upon us and 
destroy us. 

And if we are inquiring about the meaning of Being, our investigation 
does not then become a "deep" one [tiefsinnig], nor does it puzzle out 
what stands behind Being. It asks about Being itself in so far as Being 
enters into the intelligibility of Dasein. The meaning of Being can never be 

1 'Sinn ist das durch Vorhabe, Vorsicht und Vorgiff strukturierte Woraufhin des Entwurfs^ aus 
dem her etwas ah etwas versta'ndlich wird? (Notice that our usual translation of 'verstandlich, 
and 'Verstandlichkeit* as 'intelligible* and 'intelligibility', fails to show the connection of 
the words with 'Verstandnis', etc. This connection could have been brought out 
effectively by writing 'understandable,' 'understandability', etc., but only at the cost of 

2 'Sinn "hat" nur das Dasein, sofern die Erschlossenheit des In-der-Welt-seins durch 
das in ihr entdeckbare Seiende "erfiillbar" ist.' The point of this puzzling and ambiguous 
sentence may become somewhat clearer if the reader recalls that here as elsewhere (see 
H. 75 above) the verb 'erschliessen' ('disclose') is used in the sense of 'opening something 
up' so that its contents can be 'discovered'. What thus gets 'opened up' will then be 'filled 
in' as more and more of its contents get discovered. 

194 Being and Time I. 5 

contrasted with entities, or with Being as the 'ground* which gives 
entities support; for a 'ground' becomes accessible only as meaning, even 
if it is itself the abyss of meaninglessness. 1 

As the disclosedness of the "there", understanding always pertains to 
the whole of Being-in-the-world. In every understanding of the world, 
existence is understood with it, and vice versa. All interpretation, moreover, 
operates in the fore-structure, which we have already characterized. Any 
interpretation which is to contribute understanding, must already have 
understood what is to be interpreted. This is a fact that has always been 
remarked, even if only in the area of derivative ways of understanding and 
interpretation, such as philological Interpretation. The latter belongs 
within the range of scientific knowledge. Such knowledge demands the 
rigour of a demonstration to provide grounds for it. In a scientific proof, 
we may not presuppose what it is our task to provide grounds for. But if 
interpretation must in any case already operate in that which is under- 
stood, and if it must draw its nurture from this, how is it to bring any 
scientific results to maturity without moving in a circle, especially if, 
moreover, the understanding which is presupposed still operates within 
our common information about man and the world? Yet according to 
the most elementary rules of logic, this circle is a circulus vitiosus. If that be 
so, however, the business of historiological interpretation is excluded 
a priori from the domain of rigorous knowledge. In so far as the Fact of 
this circle in understanding is not eliminated, historiology must then be 
resigned to less rigorous possibilities of knowing. Historiology is permitted 
to compensate for this defect to some extent through the 'spiritual sig- 
nification' of its 'objects'. But even in the opinion of the historian himself, 
it would admittedly be more ideal if the circle could be avoided and if 
there remained the hope of creating some time a historiology which would 
be as independent of the standpoint of the observer as our knowledge of 
Nature is supposed to be. 

But if we see this circle as a vicious one and look out for ways of avoiding it 9 even if 
we just 'sense* it as an inevitable imperfection, then the act of understanding 
has been misunderstood from the ground up. The assimilation of understanding 
and interpretation to a definite ideal of knowledge is not the issue here. 
Such an ideal is itself only a subspecies of understanding — a subspecies 
which has strayed into the legitimate task of grasping the present-at- 
hand in its essential unintelligibility [Unverstandlichkeit] . If the basic 
conditions which make interpretation possible are to be fulfilled, this must 

1 *Der Sinn von Sein kann nie in Gegensatz gebracht werden zum Seienden oder zum 
Sein als tragenden "Grund" des Seienden, weil "Grund" nur als Sinn zuganglich wird, 
und sei er selbst der Abgrund der Sinnlosigkeit.' Notice the etymological kinship between 
'Grund' ('ground') and 'Abgrund' ('abyss'). 

I. 5 Being and Time 195 

rather be done by not failing to recognize beforehand the essential 
conditions under which it can be performed. What is decisive is not to get 
out of the circle but to come into it in the right way. This circle of under- 
standing is not an orbit in which any random kind of knowledge may 
move; it is the expression of the existential fore-structure of Dasein itself. 
It is not to be reduced to the level of a vicious circle, or even of a circle 
which is merely tolerated. In the circle is hidden a positive possibility of 
the most primordial kind of knowing. To be sure, we genuinely take hold 
of this possibility only when, in our interpretation, we have understood 
that our first, last, and constant task is never to allow our fore-having, 
fore-sight, and fore-conception to be presented to us by fancies and 
popular conceptions, but rather to make the scientific theme secure by 
working out these fore-structures in terms of the things themselves. 
Because understanding, in accordance with its existential meaning, is 
Dasein's own potentiality-for-Being, the ontological presuppositions of 
historiological knowledge transcend in principle the idea of rigour held 
in the most exact sciences. Mathematics is not more rigorous than his- 
toriology, but only narrower, because the existential foundations relevant 
for it lie within a narrower range. 

The 'circle' in understanding belongs to the structure of meaning, and 
the latter phenomenon is rooted in the existential constitution of Dasein — 
that is, in the understanding which interprets. An entity for which, as 
Being-in-the-world, its Being is itself an issue, has, ontologically, a 
circular structure. If, however, we note that 'circularity' belongs onto- 
logically to a kind of Being which is present-at-hand (namely, to subsist- 
ence [Bestand]), we must altogether avoid using this phenomenon to 
characterize anything like Dasein ontologically. 

1f 33* Assertion as a Derivative Mode of Interpretation 

All interpretation is grounded on understanding. That which has been 
articulated 1 as such in interpretation and sketched out beforehand in the 
understanding in general as something articulable, is the meaning. In so 
far as assertion ('judgment') 2 is grounded on understanding and presents 
us with a derivative form in which an interpretation has been carried out, 
it too 'has' a meaning. Yet this meaning cannot be defined as something 
which occurs 'in' ["an"] a judgment along with the judging itself. In our 

1 'Gegliederte'. The verbs 'artikulieren' and 'gliedern* can both be translated by 
'articulate* in English; even in German they are nearly synonymous, but in the former the 
emphasis is presumably on the 'joints' at which something gets divided, while in the latter 
the emphasis is presumably on the 'parts' or 'members'. We have distinguished between 
them by translating 'artikulieren' by 'Articulate' (with a capital 'A'), and 'gliedern' by 
'articulate' (with a lower-case initial). 

8 \ . . die Aussage (das "Urteil") . . .' 

ig6 Being and Time I. 5 

present context, we shall give an explicit analysis of assertion, and this 
analysis will serve several purposes. 

For one thing, it can be demonstrated, by considering assertion, in 
what ways the structure of the 'as', which is constitutive for understanding 
and interpretation, can be modified. When this has been done, both 
understanding and interpretation will be brought more sharply into view. 
For another thing, the analysis of assertion has a special position in the 
problematic of fundamental ontology, because in the decisive period 
when ancient ontology was beginning, the Xoyos functioned as the only 
clue for obtaining access to that which authentically i s [zum eigentlich 
Seienden], and for defining the Being of such entities. Finally assertion 
has been accepted from ancient times as the primary and authentic 'locus' 
of truth. The phenomenon of truth is so thoroughly coupled with the 
problem of Being that our investigation, as it proceeds further, will 
necessarily come up against the problem of truth; and it already lies 
within the dimensions of that problem, though not explicitly. The 
analysis of assertion will at the same time prepare the way for this latter 

In what follows, we give three significations to the term "assertion". 
These are drawn from the phenomenon which is thus designated, they 
are connected among themselves, and in their unity they encompass the 
full structure of assertion. 

1. The primary signification of "assertion" is "pointing out" [Aufzeigeri]. 
In this we adhere to the primordial meaning of Xiyos as airo^avais — letting 
an entity be seen from itself. In the assertion 'The hammer is too heavy', 
what is discovered for sight is not a 'meaning', but an entity in the way 
that it is ready-to-hand. Even if this entity is not close enough to be 
grasped and 'seen', the pointing-out has in view the entity itself and not, 
let us say, a mere "representation" [Vorstellung] of it — neither some- 
thing 'merely represented' nor the psychical condition in which the person 
who makes the assertion "represents" it. 

2. "Assertion" means no less than "predication". We 'assert' a 'predicate' 
of a 'subject', and the 'subject' is given a definite character [bestimmt] by 
the 'predicate'. In this signification of "assertion", that which is put 
forward in the assertion [Das Ausgesagte] is not the predicate, but 'the 
hammer itself'. On the other hand, that which does the asserting [Das 
Aussagende] (in other words, that which gives something a definite 
character) lies in the 'too heavy*. That which is put forward in the 
assertion in the second signification of "assertion" (that which is given a 
definite character, as such) has undergone a narrowing of content as 
compared with what is put forward in the assertion in the first signification 

I. 5 Being and Time igy 

of this term. Every predication is what it is, only as a pointing-out. The 
second signification of "assertion" has its foundation in the first. Within 
this pointing-out, the elements which are Articulated in predication — the 
subject and predicate — arise. It is not by giving something a definite 
character that we first discover that which shows itself— the hammer — as 
such ; but when we give it such a character, our seeing gets restricted to it 
in the first instance, so that by this explicit restriction 1 of our view, that 
which is already manifest may be made explicitly manifest in its definite 
character. In giving something a definite character, we must, in the first 
instance, take a step back when confronted with that which is already 
manifest — the hammer that is too heavy. In 'setting down the subject', we 
dim entities down to focus in 'that hammer there', so that by thus dimming 
them down we may let that which is manifest be seen in its own definite 
character as a character that can be determined. 2 Setting down the subject, 
setting down the predicate, and setting down the two together, are 
thoroughly 'apophantical' in the strict sense of the word. 

3. "Assertion" means "communication" [Mitteilung], speaking forth 
[Heraussage]. As communication, it is directly related to "assertion" in 
the first and second significations. It is letting someone see with us what 
we have pointed out by way of giving it a definite character. Letting 
someone see with us shares with [teilt . . . mit] the Other that entity 
which has been pointed out in its definite character. That which is 
'shared 5 is our Being towards what has been pointed out — a Being in which 
we see it in common. One must keep in mind that this Being-towards is 
Being-in-the-world, and that from out of this very world what has been 
pointed out gets encountered. Any assertion, as a communication under- 
stood in this existential manner, must have been expressed. 3 As something 
communicated, that which has been put forward in the assertion is 
something that Others can 'share' with the person making the assertion, 
even though the entity which he has pointed out and to which he has 
given a definite character is not close enough for them to grasp and see it. 
That which is put forward in the assertion is something which can be 
passed along in 'further retelling'. There is a widening of the range of that 
mutual sharing which sees. But at the same time, what has been pointed 
out may become veiled again in this further retelling, although even the 
kind of knowing which arises in such hearsay (whether knowledge that 

1 'Einschrdnkung'. The older editions have 'Entschrankung'. 

2 . . die "Subjektsetzung" blendet das Seiende ab auf "der Hammer da*', um durch 
den Vollzug der Entblendung das Offenbare in seiner bestimmbaren Bestimmtheit 
sehen zu lassen.' 

3 'Zur Aussage als der so existenzial verstandenen Mit-teilung gehort die Ausges- 

198 Being and Time I. 5 

something is the case [Wissen] or merely an acquaintance with something 
[Kennen]) always has the entity itself in view and does not 'give assent' 
to some 'valid meaning' which has been passed around. Even hearsay is a 
Being-in-the-world, and a Being towards what is heard. 

There is prevalent today a theory of 'judgment' which is oriented to the 
phenomenon of 'validity'. 1 We shall not give an extensive discussion of it 
here. It will be sufficient to allude to the very questionable character of 
this phenomenon of 'validity', though since the time of Lotze people have 
been fond of passing this off as a 'primal phenomenon' which cannot 
be traced back any further. The fact that it can play this role is due only 
to its ontologically unclarified character. The 'problematic' which has 
established itself round this idolized word is no less opaque. In the first 
place, validity is viewed as the 'form? of actuality which goes with the content 
of the judgment, in so far as that content remains unchanged as opposed 
to the changeable 'psychical' process of judgment. Considering how the 
status of the question of Being in general has been characterized in the 
introduction to this treatise, we would scarcely venture to expect that 
'validity' as 'ideal Being' is distinguished by special ontological clarity. In 
the second place, "validity" means at the same time the validity of the 
meaning of the judgment, which is valid of the 'Object' it has in view; and 
thus it attains the signification of an 'Objectively valid character* and of 
Objectivity in general. In the third place, the meaning which is thus 
'valid' of an entity, and which is valid 'timelessly' in itself, is said to be 
'valid' also in the sense of being valid for everyone who judges rationally. 
"Validity" now means a bindingness, or 'universally valid' character. 2 
Even if one were to advocate a 'critical' epistemological theory, according 
to which the subject does not 'really' 'come out' to the Object, then this 
valid character, as the validity of an Object (Objectivity), is grounded 
upon that stock of true (!) meaning which is itself valid. The three signi- 
fications of 'being valid' which we have set forth — the way of Being of the 
ideal, Objectivity, and bindingness — not only are opaque in themselves 
but constantly get confused with one another. Methodological fore-sight 

1 Heidegger uses three words which might conveniently be translated as 'validity' : 
'Geltung* (our 'validity'), 'Gultigkeit* (our 'valid character'), and 'Gelten' (our 'being 
valid', etc.). The reader who has studied logic in English and who accordingly thinks of 
'validity* as merely a property of arguments in which the premisses imply the conclusion, 
must remember that in German the verb 'gelten' and its derivatives are used much more 
broadly, so as to apply to almost anything that is commonly (or even privately) accepted, 
so that one can speak of the 'validity' of legal tender, the 'validity* of a ticket for so many 
weeks or months, the Validity' of that which 'holds' for me or for you, the 'validity' of 
anything that is the case. While Heidegger's discussion does not cover as many of these 
meanings as will be listed in any good German dictionary, he goes well beyond the 
narrower usage of the English-speaking logician. Of course, we shall often translate 'gelten' 
in other ways. 

2 '. . . Verbindlichkeit, "Allgemeingiiltigkeit".* 

L 5 Being and Time 199 

demands that we do not choose such unstable concepts as a clue to Inter- 
pretation. We make no advance restriction upon the concept of "mean- 
ing" which would confine it to signifying the 'content of judgment', but 
we understand it as the existential phenomenon already characterized, in 
which the formal framework of what can be disclosed in understanding and 
Articulated in interpretation becomes visible. 

If we bring together the three significations of 'assertion' which we have 
analysed, and get a unitary view of the full phenomenon, then we may 
define "assertion" as "a pointing-out which gives something a definite character 
and which communicates". It remains to ask with what justification we have 
taken assertion as a mode of interpretation at all. If it is something of 
this sort, then the essential structures of interpretation must recur in it. 
The pointing-out which assertion does is performed on the basis of what 
has already been disclosed in understanding or discovered circumspec- 
tively. Assertion is not a free-floating kind of behaviour which, in its own 
right, might be capable of disclosing entities in general in a primary way: 
on the contrary it always maintains itself on the basis of Being-in-the- 
world. What we have shown earlier 1 * in relation to knowing the world, 
holds just as well as assertion. Any assertion requires a fore-having of 
whatever has been disclosed; and this is what it points out by way of 
giving something a definite character. Furthermore, in any approach 
when one gives something a definite character, one is already taking a 
look directionally at what is to be put forward in the assertion. When an 
entity which has been presented is given a definite character, the function 
of giving it such a character is taken over by that with regard to which we 
set our sights towards the entity. 1 Thus any assertion requires a fore-sight; 
in this the predicate which we are to assign [zuzuweisende] and make 
stand out, gets loosened, so to speak, from its unexpressed inclusion in the 
entity itself. To any assertion as a communication which gives something 
a definite character there belongs, moreover, an Articulation of what is 
pointed out, and this Articulation is in accordance with significations. 
Such an assertion will operate with a definite way of conceiving: "The 
hammer is heavy", "Heaviness belongs to the hammer", "The hammer 
has the property of heaviness". When an assertion is made, some fore- 
conception is always implied; but it remains for the most part incon- 
spicuous, because the language already hides in itself a developed way 
of conceiving. Like any interpretation whatever, assertion necessarily has 
a fore-having, a fore-sight, and a fore-conception as its existential founda- 

1 'Woraufhin das vorgegebene Seiende anvisiert wird, das ubernimmt im Bestimmungs- 
vollzug die Funktion des Bestimmenden/ 

200 Being and Time I. 5 

But to what extent does it become a derivative mode of interpretation ? 
What has been modified in it? We can point out the modification if we 
stick to certain limiting cases of assertion which function in logic as normal 
cases and as examples of the 'simplest' assertion-phenomena. Prior to all 
analysis, logic has already understood 'logically' what it takes as a theme 
under the heading of the "categorical statement" — for instance, 'The 
hammer is heavy'. The unexplained presupposition is that the 'meaning' 
of this sentence is to be taken as: "This Thing — a hammer — has the 
property of heaviness". In concernful circumspection there are no such 
assertions 'at first'. But such circumspection has of course its specific ways 
of interpreting, and these, as .compared with the 'theoretical judgment' 
just mentioned, may take some such form as 'The hammer is too heavy', 
or rather just 'Too heavy!', 'Hand me the other hammer!' Interpretation 
is carried out primordially not in a theoretical statement but in an action 
of circumspective concern — laying aside the unsuitable tool, or exchanging 
it, 'without wasting words'. From the fact that words are absent, it may 
not be concluded that interpretation is absent. On the other hand, 
the kind of interpretation which is circumspectively expressed is not 
necessarily already an assertion in the sense we have defined. By what 
existential-ontological modifications does assertion arise from circumspective inter- 

The entity which is held in our fore-having — for instance, the hammer 
— is proximally ready- to-hand as equipment. If this entity becomes the 
'object' of an assertion, then as soon as we begin this assertion, there is 
already a change-over in the fore-having. Something ready-to-hand with 
winch we have to do or perform something, turns into something 'about 
which' the assertion that points it out is made. Our fore-sight is aimed at 
something present-at-hand in what is ready-to-hand. Both by and for this 
way of looking at it [Hin-sicht], the ready-to-hand becomes veiled as 
ready-to-hand. Within this discovering of presence-at-hand, which is at 
the same time a covering-up of readiness-to-hand, something present-at- 
hand which we encounter is given a definite character in its Being-present- 
at-hand-in-such-and-such-a-manner. Only now are we given any access 
to properties or the like. When an assertion has given a definite character 
to something present-at-hand, it says something about it as a "what"; 
and this "what" is drawn from that which is present-at-hand as such. The 
as-structure of interpretation has undergone a modification. In its func- 
tion of appropriating what is understood, the 'as' no longer reaches out 
into a totality of involvements. As regards its possibilities for Articulating 
reference-relations, it has been cut off from that significance which, as 
such, constitutes environmentality. The 'as' gets pushed back into the 

I. 5 Being and Time 201 

uniform plane of that which is merely present-at-hand. It dwindles to 
the structure of just letting one seewhat is present-at-hand, and letting one 
see it in a definite way. This levelling of the primordial 'as' of circum- 
spective interpretation to the "as" with which presence-at-hand is given 
a definite character is the specialty of assertion. Only so does it obtain 
the possibility of exhibiting something in such a way that we just 
look at it. 

Thus assertion cannot disown its ontological origin from an interpreta- 
tion which understands. The primordial 'as' of an interpretation (ip^vela) 
which understands circumspectively we call the "existential-ArnnmaftW 
'as' " in distinction from the "apophantical 'as' " of the assertion. 

Between the kind of interpretation which is still wholly wrapped up in 
concernful understanding and the extreme opposite case of a theoretical 
assertion about something present-at-hand, there are many intermediate 
gradations: assertions about the happenings in the environment, accounts 
of the ready-to-hand, 'reports on the Situation', the recording and fixing of 
the 'facts of the case', the description of a state of affairs, the narration 
of something that has befallen. We cannot trace back these 'sentences' to 
theoretical statements without essentially perverting their meaning. Like 
the theoretical statements themselves, they have their 'source' in circum- 
spective interpretation. 

With the progress of knowledge about the structure of the \6yos, it 
was inevitable that this phenomenon of the apophantical 'as' should come 
into view in some form or other. The manner in which it was proximally 
seen was not accidental, and did not fail to work itself out in the subsequent 
history of logic. 

When considered philosophically, the Xoyos itself is an entity, and, 
according to the orientation of ancient ontology, it is something present- 
at-hand. Words are proximally present-at-hand; that is to say, we come 
across them just as we come across Things; and this holds for any sequence 
of words, as that in which the Xoyos expresses itself. In this first search for 
the structure of the Xoyos as thus present-at-hand, what was found was 
the Being-present-at-hand-together of several words. What establishes the 
unity of this "together" ? As Plato knew, this unity lies in the fact that the 
Xoyos is always Xoyos twos. In the Xoyos an entity is manifest, and with 
a view to this entity, the words are put together in one verbal whole. 
Aristotle saw this more radically: every Xoyos is both ovvOeois and 
W/>e<n<r, not just the one (call it 'affirmative judgment') or the other 
(call it 'negative judgment'). Rather, every assertion, whether it affirms 
or denies, whether it is true or false, is crvvOccns and Sialpcais equiprim- 
ordially. To exhibit anything is to take it together and take it apart. It is 

202 Being and Time I. 5 

true, of course, that Aristotle did not pursue the analytical question as far 
as the problem of which phenomenon within the structure of the Xoyos is 
the one that permits and indeed obliges us to characterize every statement 
as synthesis and diaeresis. 

Along with the formal structures of 'binding' and 'separating'— or, 
more precisely, along with the unity of these — we should meet the phen- 
menon of the 'something as something', and we should meet this as a 
phenomenon. In accordance with this structure, something is understood 
with regard to something: it is taken together with it, yet in such a way 
that this confrontation which understands will at the same time take apart 
what has been taken together, and will do so by Articulating it interpreta- 
tively. If the phenomenon of the 'as' remains covered up, and, above all, 
if its existential source in the hermeneutical 'as' is veiled, then Aristotle's 
phenomenological approach to the analysis of the Xoyos collapses to a 
superficial 'theory of judgment', in which judgment becomes the binding 
or separating of representations and concepts. 

Binding and separating may be formalized still further to a 'relating'. 
The judgment gets dissolved logistically into a system in which things are 
'co-ordinated' with one another; it becomes the object of a 'calculus'; 
but it does not become a theme for ontological Interpretation. The pos- 
sibility and impossibility of getting an analytical understanding of crvvOeois 
and Sialpeais — of the 'relation' in judgment generally — is tightly linked 
up with whatever the current status of the ontological problematic and its 
principles may be. 

How far this problematic has worked its way into the Interpretation of 
the Xoyos, and how far on the other hand the concept of 'judgment' has 
(by a remarkable counter-thrust) worked its way into the ontological 
problematic, is shown by the phenomenon of the copula. When we consider 
this 'bond', it becomes clear that proximally the synthesis-structure is 
regarded as self-evident, and that it has also retained the function of 
serving as a standard for Interpretation. But if the formal characteristics 
of 'relating' and 'binding' can contribute nothing phenomenally towards 
the structural analysis of the Xoyos as subject-matter, then in the long run 
the phenomenon to which we allude by the term "copula" has nothing 
to do with a bond or binding. The Interpretation of the 'is', whether it be 
expressed in its own right in the language or indicated in the verbal 
ending, leads us therefore into the context of problems belonging to the 
existential analytic, if assertion and the understanding of Being are 
existential possibilities for the Being of Dasein itself. When we come to 
work out the question of Being (cf. Part I, Division 3), 1 we shall thus 
1 This Division has never appeared. 

I. 5 Being and Time 203 

encounter again this peculiar phenomenon of Being which we meet 
within the Xoyos. 

By demonstrating that assertion is derived from interpretation and 
understanding, we have made it plain that the 'logic' of the Xoyos is 
rooted in the existential analytic of Dasein; and provisionally this has 
been sufficient. At the same time, by knowing that the Xoyos has been 
Interpreted in a way which is ontologically inadequate, we have gained a 
sharper insight into the fact that the methodological basis on which ancient 
ontology arose was not a primordial one. The Xoyos gets experienced as 
something present-at-hand and Interpreted as such, while at the same 
time the entities which it points out have the meaning of presence-at- 
hand. This meaning of Being is left undifferentiated and uncontrasted 
with other possibilities of Being, so that Being in the sense of a formal 
Being-something becomes fused with it simultaneously, and we are unable 
even to obtain a clear-cut division between these two realms. 

^[ 34. Being-there and Discourse. Language 

The fundamental existentialia which constitute the Being of the "there", 
the disclosedness of Being-in-the-world, are states-of-mind and under- 
standing. In understanding, there lurks the possibility of interpretation — 
that is, of appropriating what is understood. In so far as a state-of-mind 
is equiprimordial with an act of understanding, it maintains itself in a 
certain understanding. Thus there corresponds to it a certain capacity 
for getting interpreted. We have seen that assertion is derived from 
interpretation, and is an extreme case of it. In clarifying the third significa- 
tion of assertion as communication (speaking forth), we were led to the 
concepts of "saying" and "speaking", to which we had purposely given 
no attention up to that point. The fact that language now becomes our 
theme for the first time will indicate that this phenomenon has its roots in 
the existential constitution of Dasein's disclosedness. The existential- 
ontological foundation of language is discourse or talk. 1 This phenomenon is 
one of which we have been making constant use already in our foregoing 
Interpretation of state-of-mind, understanding, interpretation, and asser- 
tion; but we have, as it were, kept it suppressed in our thematic analysis. 

Discourse is existentially equiprimordial with state-of-mind and understanding. 

The intelligibility of something has always been articulated, even before 

there is any appropriative interpretation of it. Discourse is the Articulation 

1 t Rede\ As we have pointed out earlier (see our note 3, p. 47, H. 25 above), we have 
translated this word either as 'discourse' or 'talk', as the context seems to demand, some- 
times compromising with the hendiadys 'discourse or talk*. But in some contexts 'dis- 
course* is too formal while 'talk* is too colloquial ; the reader must remember that there is 
no good English equivalent for 'Rede*. For a previous discussion see Section 7 B above 
( H - 32-34)- 

204 Being and Time I. 5 

of intelligibility. Therefore it underlies both interpretation and asser- 
tion. That which can be Articulated in interpretation, and thus even 
more primordially in discourse, is what we have called ' 'meaning" . That 
which gets articulated as such in discursive Articulation, we call the 
"totality-of-significations" [Bedeutungsganze]. This can be dissolved or 
broken up into significations. Significations, as what has been Articulated 
from that which can be Articulated, always carry meaning [. . . sind . . . 
sinnhaft]. If discourse, as the Articulation of the intelligibility of the 
"there", is a primordial existentiale of disclosedness, and if disclosedness is 
primarily constituted by Being-in-the-world, then discourse too must have 
essentially a kind of Being which is specifically worldly. The intelligibility 
of Being-in-the-world — an intelligibility which goes with a state-of-mind 
— expresses itself as discourse. The totality-of-significations of intelligibility 
is put into words. To significations, words accrue. But word-Things do not 
get supplied with significations. 

The way in which discourse gets expressed is language. 1 Language is a 
totality of words — a totality in which discourse has a 'worldly' Being of 
its own; and as an entity within-the-world, this totality thus becomes 
something which we may come across as ready-to-hand. Language can 
be broken up into word-Things which are present-at-hand. Discourse is 
existentially language, because that entity whose disclosedness it Articu- 
lates according to significations, has, as its kind of Being, Being-in-the- 
world — a Being which has been thrown and submitted to the 'world'. 

As an existential state in which Dasein is disclosed, discourse is con- 
stitutive for Dasein's existence. Hearing and keeping silent [Schweigen] are 
possibilities belonging to discursive speech. In these phenomena the con- 
stitutive function of discourse for the existentiality of existence becomes 
entirely plain for the first time. But in the first instance the issue is one of 
working out the structure of discourse as such. 

Discoursing or talking is the way in which we articulate 'significantly' 
the intelligibility of Being-in-the-world. Being-with belongs to Being- 
in-the-world, which in every case maintains itself in some definite way 
of concernful Being-with-one-another. Such Being-with-one-another is 
discursive as assenting or refusing, as demanding or warning, as pro- 
nouncing, consulting, or interceding, as 'making assertions', and as 
talking in the way of 'giving a talk'. 2 Talking is talk about something. 
That which the discourse is about [das Woriiber der Rede] does not neces- 
sarily or even for the most part serve as the theme for an assertion in 

1 'Die Hinausgesprochenheit der Rede ist die Sprache.' 

2 'Dieses ist redend als zu- und absagen, auffordern, warnen, als Aussprache, Ruck- 
sprache, Fursprache, ferner als "Aussagen machen" und als reden in der Weise des 

I* 5 Being and Time 205 

which one gives something a definite character. Even a command is given 
about something; a wish is about something. And so is intercession. What 
the discourse is about is a structural item that it necessarily possesses; 
for discourse helps to constitute the disclosedness of Being-in-the-world, 
and in its own structure it is modelled upon this basic state of Dasein. 
What is talked about [das Beredete] in talk is always 'talked to' ["an- 
geredet"] in a definite regard and within certain limits. In any talk or 
discourse, there is something said-in-the-talk as such [ein Geredetes as 
solches]— something said as such [das . . . Gesagte als solches] whenever 
one wishes, asks, or expresses oneself about something. In this "something 
said", discourse communicates. 

As we have already indicated in our analysis of assertion, 1 the phenome- 
non of communication must be understood in a sense which is ontologically 
broad. 'Communication' in which one makes assertions — giving informa- 
tion, for instance — is a special case of that communication which is 
grasped in principle existentially. In this more general kind of com- 
munication, the Articulation of Being with one another understanding^ 
is constituted. Through it a co-state-of-mind [Mitbefindlichkeit] gets 
Shared', and so does the understanding of Being-with. Communication 
is never anything like a conveying of experiences, such as opinions or 
wishes, from the interior of one subject into the interior of another. 
Dasein-with is already essentially manifest in a co-state-of-mind and a 
co-understanding. In discourse Being-with becomes 'explicitly' shared] 
that is to say, it is already, but it is unshared as something that has not 
been taken hold of and appropriated. 2 

Whenever something is communicated in what is said-in-the-talk, all 
talk about anything has at the same time the character of expressing itself 
[Sickaussprechens]. In talking, Dasein ^presses itself [spricht sich . . . aus] 
not because it has, in the first instance, been encapsulated as something 
'internal 5 over against something outside, but because as Being-in-the- 
world it is already 'outside' when it understands. What is expressed is 
precisely this Being-outside— that is to say, the way in which one currently 
has a state-of-mind (mood), which we have shown to pertain to the full 
disclosedness of Being-in. Being-in and its state-of-mind are made known 
in discourse and indicated in language by intonation, modulation, the 
tempo of talk, 'the way of speaking'. In 'poetical' discourse, the com- 
munication of the existential possibilities of one's state-of-mind can be- 
come an aim in itself, and this amounts to a disclosing of existence. 

1 Reading \ . . bei der Analyse der Aussage . . with the older editions. The words 
der Aussage* have been omitted in the newer editions. 

a 'Das Mitsein wird in der Rede "ausdrucklich" geteilt, das heisst es if* schon, nur 
ungeteilt als nicht ergruTenes und zugeeignetes.' 

206 Being and Time I. 5 

In discourse the intelligibility of Being-in-the-world (an intelligibility 
which goes with a state-of-mind) is articulated according to significations; 
and discourse is this articulation. The items constitutive for discourse 
are: what the discourse is about (what is talked about); what is said-in- 
the-talk, as such; the communication; and the making-known. These are 
not properties which can just be raked up empirically from language. 
They are existential characteristics rooted in the state of Casein's Being, 
and it is they that first make anything like language ontologically possible. 
In the factical linguistic form of any definite case of discourse, some of 
these items may be lacking, or may remain unnoticed. The fact that they 
often do not receive Verbal' expression, is merely an index of some definite 
kind of discourse which, in so far as it is discourse, must in every case lie 
within the totality of the structures we have mentioned. 

Attempts to grasp the 'essence of language' have always taken their 
orientation from one or another of these items; and the clues to their 
conceptions of language have been the ideas of 'expression', of 'symbolic 
form', of communication as 'assertion', 1 of the 'making-known' of experi- 
ences, of the 'patterning' of life. Even if one were to put these various 
fragmentary definitions together in syncretistic fashion, nothing would be 
achieved in the way of a fully adequate definition of "language". We 
would still have to do what is decisive here — to work out in advance the 
ontologico-existential whole of the structure of discourse on the basis of the 
analytic of Dasein. 

We can make clear the connection of discourse with understanding and 
intelligibility by considering an existential possibility which belongs to 
talking itself— hearing. If we have not heard 'aright', it is not by accident 
that we say we have not 'understood'. Hearing is constitutive for discourse. 
And just as linguistic utterance is based on discourse, so is acoustic 
perception on hearing. Listening to ... is Dasein's existential way of 
Being-open as Being-with for Others. Indeed, hearing constitutes the 
primary and authentic way in which Dasein is open for its ownmost 
potentiality-for-Being— as in hearing the voice of the friend whom every 
Dasein carries with it. Dasein hears, because it understands. As a Being- 
in-the-world with Others, a Being which understands, Dasein is 'in thrall' 
to Dasein-with and to itself; and in this thraldom it "belongs" to these. 2 
Being-with develops in listening to one another [Aufeinander-horen], 
which can be done in several possible ways: following, 3 going along with, 

1 . . der Mitteilung als "Aussage" . . The quotation marks around 'Aussage' appear 
only in the newer editions. 

2 *Als verstehendes In-der-Welt-scin mit den Anderen ist es dem Mitdasein und ihm 
selbst "horig" und in dieser Horigkcit zugehorig.' In this sentence Heidegger uses some 
cognates of 'hdren' ('hearing') whose interrelations disappear in our version. 

3 . . des Folgens . . .* In the earlier editions there are quotation marks around 'FoIgens\ 

I. 5 Being and Time 207 

and the privative modes of not-hearing, resisting, defying, and turning 

It is on the basis of this potentiality for hearing, which is existentially 
primary, that anything like hearkening [Horchen] becomes possible. Hear- 
kening is phenomenally still more primordial than what is denned 'in the 
first instance' as "hearing" in psychology — the sensing of tones and the 
perception of sounds. Hearkening too has the kind of Being of the hearing 
which understands. What we 'first' hear is never noises or complexes of 
sounds, but the creaking waggon, the motor-cycle. We hear the column 
on the march, the north wind, the woodpecker tapping, the fire crackling. 

It requires a very artificial and complicated frame of mind to 'hear' a 
'pure noise'. The fact that motor-cycles and waggons are what we 
proximally hear is the phenomenal evidence that in every case Dasein, 
as Being-in-the-world, already dwells alongside what is ready-to-hand 
within-the-world; it certainly does not dwell proximally alongside 
'sensations' ; nor would it first have to give shape to the swirl of sensations 
to provide the springboard from which the subject leaps off and finally 
arrives at a 'world'. Dasein, as essentially understanding, is proximally 
alongside what is understood. 

Likewise, when we are explicitly hearing the discourse of another, we 
proximally understand what is said, or — to put it more exactly — we are 
already with him, in advance, alongside the entity which the discourse is 
about. On the other hand, what we proximally hear is not what is ex- 
pressed in the utterance. Even in cases where the speech is indistinct or in 
a foreign language, what we proximally hear is unintelligible words, and 
not a multiplicity of tone-data. 1 

Admittedly, when what the discourse is about is heard 'naturally', we 
can at the same time hear the 'diction', the way in which it is said [die 
Weise des Gesagtseins], but only if there is some co-understanding before- 
hand of what is said-in-the-talk; for only so is there a possibility of 
estimating whether the way in which it is said is appropriate to what the 
discourse is about thematically. 

In the same way, any answering counter-discourse arises proximally and 
directly from understanding what the discourse is about, which is already 
'shared' in Being-with. 

Only where talking and hearing are existentially possible, can anyone 
hearken. The person who 'cannot hear' and 'must feel' 2 may perhaps be 
one who is able to hearken very well, and precisely because of this. Just 

1 Here we follow the reading of the newer editions: . . nicht eine Mannigfaltigkeit 
von Tondaten.' The older editions have 'reine' instead of *eine\ 

2 The author is here alluding to the German proverb, 'Wer nicht horen kann, muss 
fuhlen.' (I.e. he who cannot heed, must suffer.) 

208 Being and Time I. 5 

hearing something "all around" [Das Nur-herum-hdren] is a privation 
of the hearing which understands. Both talking and hearing are based 
upon understanding. And understanding arises neither through talking 
at length [vieles Reden] nor through busily hearing something "all 
around". Only he who already understands can listen [zuhoren]. 

Keeping silent is another essential possibility of discourse, and it has the 
same existential foundation. In talking with one another, the person who 
keeps silent can 'make one understand' (that is, he can develop an 
understanding), and he can do so more authentically than the person 
who is never short of words. Speaking at length [Viel-sprechen] about 
something does not offer the slightest guarantee that thereby under- 
standing is advanced. On the contrary, talking extensively about some- 
thing, covers it up and brings what is understood to a sham clarity — the 
unintelligibility of the trivial. But to keep silent does not mean to be 
dumb. On the contrary, if a man is dumb, he still has a tendency to 
'speak*. Such a person has not proved that he can keep silence; indeed, 
he entirely lacks the possibility of proving anything of the sort. And the 
person who is accustomed by Nature to speak little is no better able to 
show that he is keeping silent or that he is the sort of person who can do 
so. He who never says anything cannot keep silent at any given moment. 
Keeping silent authentically is possible only in genuine discoursing. To be 
able to keep silent, Dasein must have something to say — that is, it must 
have at its disposal an authentic and rich disclosedness of itself. In that 
case one's reticence [Verschwiegenheit] makes something manifest, and 
does away with 'idle talk' ["Gerede"]. As a mode of discoursing, reticence 
Articulates the intelligibility of Dasein in so primordial a manner that it 
gives rise to a potentiality-for-hearing which is genuine, and to a Being- 
with-one-another which is transparent. 

Because discourse is constititutive for the Being of the "there" (that is, 
for states-of-mind and understanding), while "Dasein" means Being-in- 
the-world, Dasein as discursive Being-in, has already expressed itself. 
Dasein has language. Among the Greeks, their everyday existing was 
largely diverted into talking with one another, but at the same time they 
'had eyes' to see. Is it an accident that in both their pre-philosophical and 
their philosophical ways of interpreting Dasein, they defined the essence 
of man as £wov Xoyov c^ov? The later way of interpreting this definition 
of man in the sense of the animal rationale, 'something living which has 
reason', is not indeed 'false', but it covers up the phenomenal basis for this 
definition of "Dasein". Man shows himself as the entity which talks. This 
does not signify that the possibility of vocal utterance is peculiar to him, 
but rather that he is the entity which is such as to discover the world and 

I. 5 Being and Time 209 

Dasein itself. The Greeks had no word for "language"; they understood 
this phenomenon 'in the first instance' as discourse. But because the Xoyos 
came into their philosophical ken primarily as assertion, this was the 
kind of logos which they took as their clue for working out the basic 
structures of the forms of discourse and its components. Grammar sought 
its foundations in the 'logic' of this logos. But this logic was based upon the 
ontology of the present-at-hand. The basic stock of 'categories of signifi- 
cation', which passed over into the subsequent science of language, and 
which in principle is still accepted as the standard today, is oriented 
towards discourse as assertion. But if on the contrary we take this phe- 
nomenon to have in principle the primordiality and breadth of an 
existentiale, then there emerges the necessity of re-establishing the science 
of language on foundations which are ontologically more primordial. 
The task of liberating grammar from logic requires beforehand a positive 
understanding of the basic a priori structure of discourse in general as an 
existentiale. It is not a task that can be carried through later on by im- 
proving and rounding out what has been handed down. Bearing this in 
mind, we must inquire into the basic forms in which it is possible to 
articulate anything understandable, and to do so in accordance with 
significations; and this articulation must not be confined to entities 
within-the-world which we cognize by considering them theoretically, 
and which we express in sentences. A doctrine of signification will not 
emerge automatically even if we make a comprehensive comparison of as 
many languages as possible, and those which are most exotic. To accept, 
let us say, the philosophical horizon within which W. von Humboldt 
made language a problem, would be no less inadequate. The doctrine of 
signification is rooted in the ontology of Dasein. Whether it prospers or 
decays depends on the fate of this ontology. x 

In the last resort, philosophical research must resolve to ask what kind 
of Being goes with language in general. Is it a kind of equipment ready- 
to-hand within-the-world, or has it Dasein's kind of Being, or is it neither 
of these? What kind of Being does language have, if there can be such a 
thing as a 'dead' language? What do the "rise" and "decline" of a 
language mean ontologically ? We possess a science of language, and the 
Being of the entities which it has for its theme is obscure. Even the horizon 
for any investigative question about it is veiled. Is it an accident that 
proximally and for the most part significations are 'worldly', sketched out 
beforehand by the significance of the world, that they are indeed often 
predominantly 'spatial'? Or does this 'fact' have existential-ontological 
necessity? and if it is necessary, why should it be so ? Philosophical research 
will have to dispense with the 'philosophy of language' if it is to inquire 

210 Being and Time I. 5 

into 'the 'things themselves' and attain the status of a problematic 
which has been cleared up conceptually. 

Our Interpretation of language has been designed merely to point out 
the ontological 'locus' of this phenomenon in Dasein's state of Being, and 
especially to prepare the way for the following analysis, in which, taking 
as our clue a fundamental kind of Being belonging to discourse, in 
connection with other phenomena, we shall try to bring Dasein's 
everydayness into view in a manner which is ontologically more 

B. The Everyday Being of the "There", and the Falling of Dasein 
In going back to the existential structures of the disclosedness of Being- 
in-the- world, our Interpretation has, in a way, lost sight of Dasein's 
everydayness. In our analysis, we must now regain this phenomenal 
horizon which was our thematical starting-point. The question now arises: 
what are the existential characteristics of the disclosedness of Being-in-the- 
world, so far as the latter, as something which is everyday, maintains 
itself in the kind of Being of the "they"? Does the "they" have a state- 
of-mind which is specific to it, a special way of understanding, talking, 
and interpreting? It becomes all the more urgent to answer these ques- 
tions when we remember that proximally and for the most part Dasein 
is absorbed in the "they" and is mastered by it. Is' not Dasein, as thrown 
Being-in-the-world, thrown proximally right into the publicness of the 
"they"? And what does this publicness mean, other than the specific 
disclosedness of the "they"? 

If understanding must be conceived primarily as Dasein's potentiality- 
for-Being, then it is from an analysis of the way of understanding and 
interpreting which belongs to the "they" that we must gather which 
possibilities of its Being have been disclosed and appropriated by Dasein 
as "they". In that case, however, these possibilities themselves make 
manifest an essential tendency of Being — one which belongs to everyday- 
ness. And finally, when this tendency has been explicated in an ontologic- 
ally adequate manner, it must unveil a primordial kind of Being of Dasein, 
in such a way, indeed, that from this kind of Being 1 the phenomenon of 
thrownness, to which we have called attention, can be exhibited in its 
existential concreteness. 

In the first instance what is required is that the disclosedness of the 
"they" — that is, the everyday kind of Being of discourse, sight, and 
interpretation — should be made visible in certain definite phenomena. In 

1 Reading . . von ihr aus . . .'. The earliest editions omit 'aus' ; correction is made in 
a list of errata. 

I. 5 Being and Time 211 

relation to these phenomena, it may not be superfluous to remark that our 
own Interpretation is purely ontological in its aims, and is far removed 
from any moralizing critique of everyday Dasein, and from the aspirations 
of a 'philosophy of culture'. 

If 55. Idle Talk 

The expression 'idle talk' ["Gerede"] is not to be used here in a 'dis- 
paraging' 1 signification. Terminologically, it signifies a positive pheno- 
menon which constitutes the kind of Being of everyday Dasein's under- 
standing and interpreting. For the most part, discourse is expressed by 
being spoken out, and has always been so expressed; it is language. 2 But 
in that case understanding and interpretation already lie in what has thus 
been expressed. In language, as a way things have been expressed or 
spoken out [Ausgesprochenheit], there is hidden a way in which the under- 
standing of Dasein has been interpreted. This way of interpreting it is no 
more just present-at-hand than language is; on the contrary, its Being is 
itself of the character of Dasein. Proximally, and with certain limits, 
Dasein is constantly delivered over to this interpretedness, which controls 
and distributes the possibilities of average understanding and of the state- 
of-mind belonging to it. The way things have been expressed or spoken 
out is such that in the totality of contexts of signification into which it has 
been articulated, it preserves an understanding of the disclosed world 
and therewith, equiprimordially, an understanding of the Dasein-with of 
Others and of one's own Being-in. The understanding which has thus 
already been "deposited" in the way things have been expressed, pertains 
just as much to any traditional discoveredness of entities which may have 
been reached, as it does to one's current understanding of Being and to 
whatever possibilities and horizons for fresh interpretation and conceptual 
Articulation may be available. But now we must go beyond a bare allusion 
to the Fact of this interpretedness of Dasein, and must inquire about the 
existential kind of Being of that discourse which is expressed and which 
expresses itself. If this cannot be conceived as something present-at-hand, 
what is its Being, and what does this tell us in principle about Dasein's 
everyday kind of Being? 

Discourse which expresses itself is communication. Its tendency of 

1 These quotation marks are supplied only in the older editions. (It is not easy to trans- 
late 'Gerede' in a way which docs not carry disparaging connotations. Fortunately 
Heidegger makes his meaning quite clear.) 

2 'Die Rede spricht sich zumeist aus und hat sich schon immer ausgesprochen. Sie ist 
Sprache.' As we have pointed out earlier (see our note 1, p. 190 H. 149 above), it is often 
sufficient to translate 'aussprechen' as 'express'. In the present passage, however, the con- 
notation of 'speaking out' or 'uttering' seems especially important; we shall occasionally 
make it explicit in our translation by hendiadys or other devices. 

«I3 Being and Time I. 5 

Being is aimed at bringing the hearer to participate in disclosed Being 
towards what is talked about in the discourse. 

In the language which is spoken when one expresses oneself, there lies an 
average intelligibility; and in accordance with this intelligibility the dis- 
course which is communicated can be understood to a considerable extent, 
even if the hearer does not bring himself into such a kind of Being towards 
what the discourse is about as to have a primordial understanding of it. We 
do not so much understand the entities which are talked about; we already 
are listening only to what is said-in-the-talk as such. What is said-in-the- 
talk gets understood ; but what the talk is about is understood only approxi- 
mately and superficially. We have the same thing in view, because it is in the 
same averageness that we have a common understanding of what is said. 

Hearing and understanding have attached themselves beforehand to 
what is said-in-the-talk as such. The primary relationship-of-Being towards 
the entity talked about is not 'imparted' by communication; 1 but Being- 
with-one-another takes place in talking with one another and in concern 
with what is said-in-the-talk. To this Being-with-one-another, the fact 
that talking is going on is a matter of consequence. 2 The Being-said, the 
dictum, the pronouncement [Ausspruch] — all these now stand surety for the 
genuineness of the discourse and of the understanding which belongs to it, 
and for its appropriateness to the facts. And because this discoursing has 
lost its primary relationship-of-Being towards the entity talked about, or 
else has never achieved such a relationship, it does not communicate in 
such a way as to let this entity be appropriated in a primordial manner, 
but communicates rather by foDowing the route of gossiping and passing 
the word along. 3 What is said-in-the-talk as such, spreads in wider circles 
and takes on an authoritative character. Things are so because one says so. 
Idle talk is constituted by just such gossiping and passing the word along 
—a process by which its initial lack of grounds to stand on [Bodenstandig- 
keit] becomes aggravated to complete groundlessness [Bodenlosigkeit]. 
And indeed this idle talk is not confined to vocal gossip, but even spreads 
to what we write, where it takes the form of 'scribbling' [das "Gesch- 
reibe"]. In this latter case the gossip is not based so much upon hearsay. 
It feeds upon superficial reading [dem Angelesenen]. The average under- 
standing of the reader will never be able to decide what has been drawn 
from primordial sources with a struggle and how much is just gossip. The 
average understanding, moreover, will not want any such distinction, 
and does not need it, because, of course, it understands everything. 

I !P ic I ^ ttci | un 8 " tcilt " n*** 11 dci * primarcn Scinsbczug zum bcredetcn Seienden . . / 
" Ihm hegt daran, dass gcrcdet wird.' Wc have interpreted 'Ihm' as referring to 'das 
Miteinandersein , but other interpretations are grammatically possible. 
• • • sondern auf dem Wege des Weiter- und Machredens: 

. 5 Being and Time 213 

The groundlessness of idle talk is no obstacle to its becoming public; in- 
stead it encourages this. Idle talk is the possibility of understanding every- 
thing without previously making the thing one's own. If this were done, idle 
talk would founder; and it already guards against such a danger. Idle talk 
is something which anyone can rake up ; it not only releases one from the 
task of genuinely understanding, but develops an undifferentiated kind of 
intelligibility, for which nothing is closed off any longer. 

Discourse, which belongs to the essential state of Dasein's Being and has a 
share in constituting Dasein's disclosedness, has the possibility of becoming 
idle talk. And when it does so, it serves not so much to keep Being-in-the- 
world open for us in an articulated understanding, as rather to close it 
off, and cover up the entities within-the-world. To do this, one need not 
aim to deceive. Idle talk does not have the kind of Being which belongs to 
consciously passing off something as something else. The fact that something 
has been said groundlessly, and then gets passed along in further retelling, 
amounts to perverting the act of disclosing [Erchliessen] into an act of 
closing off [Verschliessen]. For what is said is always understood proxim- 
ally as 'saying' something — that is, an uncovering something. Thus, by 
its very nature, idle talk is a closing-off, since to go back to the ground of 
what is talked about is something which it leaves undone. 

This closing-off is aggravated afresh by the fact that an understanding 
of what is talked about is supposedly reached in idle talk. Because of this, 
idle talk discourages any new inquiry and any disputation, and in a 
peculiar way suppresses them and holds them back. 

This way in which things have been interpreted in idle talk has already 
established itself in Dasein. There are many things with which we first 
become acquainted in this way, and there is not a little which never gets 
beyond such an average understanding. This everyday way in which 
things have been interpreted is one into which Dasein has grown in the 
first instance, with never a possibility of extrication. In it, out of it, and 
against it, all genuine understanding, interpreting, and communicating, 
all re-discovering and appropriating anew, are performed. In no case is a 
Dasein, untouched and unseduced by this way in which things have been 
interpreted, set before the open country of a 'world-in-itself, so that it just 
beholds what it encounters. The dominance of the public way in which 
things have been interpreted has already been decisive even for the 
possibilities of having a mood — that is, for the basic way in which Dasein 
lets the world "matter" to it. 1 The "they" prescribes one's state-of-mind, 
and determines what and how one 'sees'. 

1 . . uber die Moglichkeiten des Gestimmtseins entschieden, das heisst iiber die 
Grundart, in der sich das Dasein von der Welt angehen lasst.' The second 'uber' is found 
only in the later editions. 

214 Being and Time I. 5 

Idle talk, which closes things off in the way we have designated, is the 
kind of Being which belongs to Dasein's understanding when that under- 
standing has been uprooted. But idle talk does not occur as a condition 
which is present-at-hand in something present-at-hand : idle talk has been 
uprooted existentially, and this uprooting is constant. Ontologically this 
means that when Dasein maintains itself in idle talk, it is — as Being-in- 
the-world — cut off from its primary and primordially genuine relation- 
ships-of-Being towards the world, towards Dasein-with, and towards its 
very Being-in. Such a Dasein keeps floating unattached [in einer Schwebe] ; 
yet in so doing, it is always alongside the world, with Others, and towards 
itself. To be uprooted in this manner is a possibility-of-Being only for an 
entity whose disclosedness is constituted by discourse as characterized by 
understanding and states-of-mind — that is to say, for an entity whose 
disclosedness, in such an ontologically constitutive state, is its "there", 
its 'in- the- world'. Far from amounting to a "not-Being" of Dasein, 
this uprooting is rather Dasein's most everyday and most stubborn 

Yet the obviousness and self-assurance of the average ways in which 
things have been interpreted, are such that while the particular Dasein 
drifts along towards an ever-increasing groundlessness as it floats, the 
uncanniness of this floating remains hidden from it under their protecting 

% 36. Curiosity 

In our analysis of understanding and of the disclosedness of the "there" 
in general, we have alluded to the lumen naturale, and designated the dis- 
closedness of Being-in as Dasein's "clearing* 1 in which it first becomes 
possible to have something like sight. 1 Our conception of "sight" has been 
gained by looking at the basic kind of disclosure which is characteristic of 
Dasein — namely, understanding, in the sense of the genuine appropriation 
of those entities towards which Dasein can comport itself in accordance 
with its essential possibilities of Being. 

The basic state of sight shows itself in a peculiar tendency-of-Being 
which belongs to everydayness — the tendency towards 'seeing'. We 
designate this tendency by the term "curiosity 9 [Neugier], which character- 
istically is not confined to seeing, but expresses the tendency towards a 
peculiar way of letting the world be encountered by us in perception. 
Our aim in Interpreting this phenomenon is in principle one which is 
existential-ontological. We do not restrict ourselves to an orientation 
towards cognition. Even at an early date (and in Greek philosophy this 

1 See H. 133 above. 

I. 5 Being and Time 215 

was no accident) cognition was conceived in terms of the 'desire to see'. 1 
The treatise which stands first in the collection of Aristotle's treatises on 
ontology begins with the sentence : irdvres dvBpamoi rod eiSevai opiyovrai 
</>va€i. xi The care for seeing is essential to man's Being. 2 This remark 
introduces an investigation in which Aristode seeks to uncover the source 
of all learned exploration of entities and their Being, by deriving it from 
that species of Dasein's Being which we have just mentioned. This Greek 
Interpretation of the existential genesis of science is not accidental. It 
brings to explicit understanding what has already been sketched out 
beforehand in the principle of Parmenides : to yap afrro voelv iariv tc /ecu 
ctvai* Being is that which shows itself in the pure perception 
which belongs to beholding, and only by such seeing does Being get dis- 
covered. Primordial and genuine truth lies in pure beholding. This thesis 
has remained the foundation of western philosophy ever since. The 
Hegelian dialectic found in it its motivating conception, and is possible 
only on the basis of it. 

The remarkable priority of 'seeing' was noticed particularly by Augus- 
tine, in connection with his Interpretation of concupiscentia. xii "Ad oculos 
enim videre proprie pertinet" ("Seeing belongs properly to the eyes.") 
"Utimur autem hoc verbo etiam in ceteris sensibus cum eos ad cognoscendum 
intendimus." ("But we even use this word 'seeing' for the other senses when 
we devote them to cognizing.") "Neque enim dicimus: audi quid rutilet; out, 
olfac quam niteat; aut, gusta quam splendeat; aut, palpa quam fulgeat: videri enim 
dicuntur haec omnia" ("For we do not say 'Hear how it glows', or 'Smell 
how it glistens', or 'Taste how it shines', or 'Feel how it flashes' ; but we 
say of each, 'See 9 ; we say that all this is seen.") "Dicimus autem non solum, 
vide quid luceat, quod soli oculi sentire possunt" ("We not only say, 'See how 
that shines', when the eyes alone can perceive it;") "sed etiam, vide quid 
sonet; vide quid oleat; vide quid sapiat; vide quam durum sit;" ("but we even 
say, 'See how that sounds', 'See how that is scented', 'See how that tastes', 
'See how hard that is'.") "Ideoque generalis experientia sensuum concupiscentia 
sicut dictum est oculorum vocatur, quia videndi qfficium in quo primatum oculi 
tenent, etiam ceteri sensus sibi de similitudine usurpant, cum aliquid cognitionis 
explorant" ("Therefore the experience of the senses in general is designated 

1 . . nicht in der verengten Orientierung am Erkennen, das schon friih und in der 
griechischen Philosophic nicht zufallig aus der "Lust zu sehen" begriffen wird.' The 
earlier editions have '. . . am Erkennen, als welches schon friih . . 

2 While the sentence from Aristotle is usually translated, 'AH men by nature desire to 
know*, Heidegger takes clhcvai in its root meaning, 'to see', and connects opeyovrai 
(literally: 'reach out for') with 'Sorge' ('care'). 

3 This sentence has been variously interpreted. The most usual version is: 'For thinking 
and being are the same.' Heidegger, however, goes back to the original meaning of voelv 
as 'to perceive with the eyes'. 

216 Being and Time I. 5 

as he 'lust of the eyes'; for when the issue is one of knowing something, 
the other senses, by a certain resemblance, take to themselves the function 
of seeing — a function in which the eyes have priority.") 

What is to be said about this tendency just to perceive? Which existen- 
tial state of Dasein will become intelligible in the phenomenon of curiosity ? 

Being-in-the-world is proximally absorbed in the world of concern. 
This concern is guided by circumspection, which discovers the ready-to- 
hand and preserves it as thus discovered. Whenever we have something 
to contribute or perform, circumspection gives us the route for proceeding 
with it, the means of carrying it out, the right opportunity, the appropriate 
moment. Concern may come to rest in the sense of one's interrupting the 
performance and taking a rest, or it can do so by getting it finished. In rest, 
concern does not disappear; circumspection, however, becomes free and 
is no longer bound to the world of work. When we take a rest, care sub- 
sides into circumspection which has been set free. In the world of work, 
circumspective discovering has de-severing as the character of its Being. 
When circumspection has been set free, there is no longer anything ready- 
to-hand which we must concern ourselves with bringing close. But, as 
essentially de-severant, this circumspection provides itself with new 
possibilities of de-severing. This means that it tends away from what is 
most closely ready-to-hand, and into a far and alien world. Care becomes 
concern with the possibilities of seeing the 'world' merely as it looks while 
one tarries and takes a rest. Dasein seeks what is far away simply in order 
to bring it close to itself in the way it looks. Dasein lets itself be carried 
along [mitnehmen] solely by the looks of the world; in this kind of Being, 
it concerns itself with becoming rid of itself as Being-in-the-world and rid 
of its Being alongside that which, in the closest everyday manner, is ready- 

When curiosity has become free, however, it concerns itself with seeing, 
not in order to understand what is seen (that is, to come into a Being 
towards it) but just in order to see. It seeks novelty only in order to leap 
from it anew to another novelty. In this kind of seeing, that which is an 
issue for care does not lie in grasping something and being knowingly in 
the truth; it lies rather in its possibilities of abandoning itself to the world. 
Therefore curiosity is characterized by a specific way of not tarrying along- 
side what is closest. Consequently it does not seek the leisure of tarrying 
observantly, but rather seeks restlessness and the excitement of continual 
novelty and changing encounters. In not tarrying, curiosity is concerned 
with the constant possibility of distraction. Curiosity has nothing to do with 
observing entities and marvelling at them — 0au/x<££c«/. To be amazed to 
the point of not understanding is something in which it has no interest. 

I. 5 Being and Time 217 

Rather it concerns itself with a kind of knowing, but just in order to have 
known. Both this not tarrying in the environment with which one concerns 
oneself, and this distraction by new possibilities, are constitutive items for 
curiosity; and upon these is founded the third essential characteristic of 
this phenomenon, which we call the character of "never dwelling anywhere" 
[Aufenthaltslosigkeit]. Curiosity is everywhere and nowhere. This mode of 
Being-in-the-world reveals a new kind of Being of everyday Dasein — a 
kind in which Dasein is constantly uprooting itself. 

Idle talk controls even the ways in which one may be curious. It says 
what one "must" have read and seen. In being everywhere and nowhere, 
curiosity is delivered over to idle talk. These two everyday modes of 
Being for discourse and sight are not just present-at-hand side by side in 
their tendency to uproot, but either of these ways- to-be drags the other one 
with it. Curiosity, for which nothing is closed off, and idle talk, for which 
there is nothing that is not understood, provide themselves (that is, the 
Dasein which is in this manner [dem so seienden Dasein]) with the guar- 
antee of a 'life' which, supposedly, is genuinely 'lively'. But with this 
supposition a third phenomenon now shows itself, by which the disclosed- 
ness of everyday Dasein is characterized. 

37. Ambiguity 

When, in our everyday Being-with-one-another, we encounter the sort 
of thing which is accessible to everyone, and about which anyone can 
say anything, it soon becomes impossible to decide what is disclosed in a 
genuine understanding, and what is not. This ambiguity [Zweideutigkeit] 
extends not only to the world, but just as much to Being-with-one-another 
as such, and even to Dasein's Being towards itself. 

Everything looks as if it were genuinely understood, genuinely taken 
hold of, genuinely spoken, though at bottom it is not; or else it does not 
look so, and yet at bottom it is. Ambiguity not only affects the way we 
avail ourselves of what is accessible for use and enjoyment, and the way 
we manage it; ambiguity has already established itself in the under- 
standing as a potentiality-for-Being, and in the way Dasein projects itself 
and presents itself with possibilities. 1 Everyone is acquainted with what 
is up for discussion and what occurs, 2 and everyone discusses it; but 
everyone also knows already how to talk about what has to happen first — 
about what is not yet up for discussion but 'really' must be done. Already 
everyone has surmised and scented out in advance what Others have also 
surmised and scented out. This Being-on-the scent is of course based upon 

1 . . sondern sie hat sich schon im Verstehen als Seinkonnen, in der Art des Entwurfs 
und der Vorgabe von Moglichkeiten des Daseins festgesetzt.' 

* . . was vorliegt und vorkommt . . 

2i8 Being and Time I. 5 

hearsay, for if anyone is genuinely 'on the scent* of anything, he does not 
speak about it; and this is the most entangling way in which ambiguity 
presents Dasein's possibilities so that they will already be stifled in their 
power. 1 

Even supposing that what "they" have surmised and scented out should 
some day be actually translated into deeds, ambiguity has already taken 
care that interest in what has been Realised will promptly die away. Indeed 
this interest persists, in a kind of curiosity and idle talk, only so long as 
there is a possibility of a non-committal just-surmising-with-someone-else. 
Being "in on it" with someone [das Mit-dabei-sein] when one is on the 
scent, and so long as one is on it, precludes one's allegiance when what 
has been surmised gets carried out. For in such a case Dasein is in every 
case forced back on itself. Idle talk and curiosity lose their power, and are 
already exacting their penalty. 2 When confronted with the carrying- 
through of what "they" have surmised together, idle talk readily estab- 
lishes that "they" "could have done that too" — for "they" have indeed 
surmised it together. In the end, idle talk is even indignant that what it 
has surmised and constantly demanded now actually happens. In that case, 
indeed, the opportunity to keep on surmising has been snatched away. 

But when Dasein goes in for something in the reticence of carrying it 
through or even of genuinely breaking down on it, its time is a different 
time and, as seen by the public, an essentially slower time than that of 
idle talk, which 'lives at a faster rate'. Idle talk will thus long since have 
gone on to something else which is currently the very newest thing. That 
which was earlier surmise and has now been carried through, has come too 
late if one looks at that which is newest. Idle talk and curiosity take care 
in their ambiguity to ensure that what is genuinely and newly created is 
out of date as soon as it emerges before the public. Such a new creation 
can become free in its positive possibilities only if the idle talk which covers 
it up has become ineffective, and if the 'common' interest has died away. 

In the ambiguity of the way things have been publicly interpreted, 
talking about things ahead of the game and making surmises about them 
curiously, gets passed off as what is really happening, while taking action 
and carrying something through get stamped as something merely sub- 
sequent and unimportant. Thus Dasein's understanding in the "they" is 
constantly going wrong [versieht sick] in its projects, as regards the genuine 
possibilities of Being. Dasein is always ambiguously 5 there' — that is to say, 
in that public disclosedness of Being-with-one-another where the loudest 

1 . . ist die verfanglichste Weise, in der die Zweideutigkeit Moglichkeiten des Daseins 
vorgibt, urn sie auch schon in ihrer Kraft zu ersticken.' (Notice that 'ihrer' may refer to 
'Zweideutigkeit* or to 'Moglichkeiten'.) 

2 'Und sie rachen sich auch schon.' 

I. 5 Being and Time 219 

idle talk and the most ingenious curiosity keep 'things moving', where, in 
an everyday manner, everything (and at bottom nothing) is happening. 

This ambiguity is always tossing to curiosity that which it seeks; and 
it gives idle talk the semblance of having everything decided in it. 

But this kind of Being of the disclosedness of Being-in-the-world 
dominates also Being-with-one-another as such. The Other is proximally 
'there' in terms of what "they" have heard about him, what "they" say 
in their talk about him, and what "they" know about him. Into prim- 
ordial Being-with-one-another, idle talk first slips itself in between. 
Everyone keeps his eye on the Other first and next, watching how he will 
comport himself and what he will say in reply. Being-with-one-another 
in the "they" is by no means an indifferent side-by-side-ness in which 
everything has been settled, but rather an intent, ambiguous watching of 
one another, a secret and reciprocal listening-in. Under the mask of 
"for-one-another", an "against-one-another" is in play. 

In this connection, we must notice that ambiguity does not first arise 
from aiming explicitly at disguise or distortion, and that it is not some- 
thing which the individual Dasein first conjures up. It is already implied 
in Being with one another, as thrown Being-with-one-another in a world. 
Publicly, however, it is quite hidden; and "they" will always defend them- 
selves against this Interpretation of the kind of Being which belongs to the 
way things have been interpreted by the "they", lest it should prove 
correct. It would be a misunderstanding if we were to seek to have the 
explication of these phenomena confirmed by looking to the "they" for 

The phenomena of idle talk, curiosity, and ambiguity have been set 
forth in such a manner as to indicate that they are already interconnected 
in their Being. We must now grasp in an existential-ontological manner 
the kind of Being which belongs to this interconnection. The basic kind 
of Being which belongs to everydayness is to be understood within the 
horizon of those structures of Dasein's Being which have been hitherto 

If 38. Falling and Thrownness 

Idle talk, curiosity and ambiguity characterize the way in which, in 
an everyday manner, Dasein is its 'there' — the disclosedness of Being-in- 
the-world. As definite existential characteristics, these are not present-at- 
hand in Dasein, but help to make up its Being. In these, and in the way 
they are interconnected in their Being, there is revealed a basic kind of 
Being which belongs to everydayness; we call this the "falling" 1 of Dasein. 

1 'VerfdUrC. See our note 2, p. 42, H. 21 above, and note 1, p. 172, H. 134 above. 

220 Being and Time I. 5 

This term does not express any negative evaluation, but is used to signify 
that Dasein is proximally and for the most part alongside the 'world' of its 
concern. This "absorption in . . ." [Aufgehen bei . . .] has mostly the 
character of Being-lost in the publicness of the "they". Dasein has, in the 
first instance, fallen away [abgefallen] from itself as an authentic pot- 
entiality for Being its Self, and has fallen into the 'world'. 1 "Fallenness" 
into the 'world' means an absorption in Being-with-one-another, in so far 
as the latter is guided by idle talk, curiosity, and ambiguity. Through the 
Interpretation of falling, what we have called the "inauthenticity" of 
Dasein xlil may now be defined more precisely. On no account, however, 
do the terms "inauthentic" and "non-authentic" signify 'really not', 2 as 
if in this mode of Being, Dasein were altogether to lose its Being. "In- 
authenticity" does not mean anything like Being-no-longer-in-the-world, 
but amounts rather to a quite distinctive kind of Being-in-t he-world — the 
kind which is completely fascinated by the 'world' and by the Dasein- 
with of Others in the "they". Not-Being-its-self [Das Nicht-es-selbst-sein] 
functions as a positive possibility of that entity which, in its essential con- 
cern, is absorbed in a world. This kind of not-Being has to be conceived as 
that kind of Being which is closest to Dasein and in which Dasein main- 
tains itself for the most part. 

So neither must we take the fallenness of Dasein as a 'fall' from a purer 
and higher 'primal status'. Not only do we lack any experience of this 
ontically, but ontologically we lack any possibilities or clues for Inter- 
preting it. 

In falling, Dasein itself as factical Being-in-the-world, is something/rom 
which it has already fallen away. And it has not fallen into some entity 
which it comes upon for the first time in the course of its Being, or even 
one which it has not come upon at all; it has fallen into the world, which 
itself belongs to its Being. Falling is a definite existential characteristic 
of Dasein itself. It makes no assertion about Dasein as something present- 
at-hand, or about present-at-hand relations to entities from which Dasein 
'is descended' or with which Dasein has subsequently wound up in some 
sort of commercium. 

We would also misunderstand the ontologico-existential structure of 
falling 3 if we were to ascribe to it the sense of a bad and deplorable 
ontical property of which, perhaps, more advanced stages of human 
culture might be able to rid themselves. 

t 1 . . und an die "Welt" verfallen.' While we shall follow English idioms by translating 
an die "Welt" ' as 'into the "world" ' in contexts such as this, the preposition 'into' is 
hardly the correct one. The idea is rather that of falling at the world or collapsing against it. 

2 'Un- und nichteigentlich, bedeutet aber keineswegs "eigentlich nicht" . . S 

3 'Die ontologisch-existenziale Struktur des Verfallens . . .» The words 'des Verfallens* 
do not appear in the earlier editions. 

I. 5 Being and Time 22 1 

Neither in our first allusion to Being-in-the-world as Dasein's basic 
state, nor in our characterization of its constitutive structural items, did 
we go beyond an analysis of the constitution of this kind of Being and take 
note of its character as a phenomenon. We have indeed described concern 
and solicitude, as the possible basic kinds of Being-in. But we did not 
discuss the question of the everyday kind of Being of these ways in which 
one may be. We also showed that Being-in is something quite different 
from a mere confrontation, whether by way of observation or by way of 
action; that is, it is not the Being-present-at-hand- together of a subject 
and an Object. Nevertheless, it must still have seemed that Being-in-the- 
world has the function of a rigid framework, within which Dasein's 
possible ways of comporting itself towards its world run their course 
without touching the 'framework' itself as regards its Being. But this 
supposed 'framework' itself helps make up the kind of Being which is 
Dasein's. An existential mode of Being-in-the-world is documented in the 
phenomenon of falling. 

Idle talk discloses to Dasein a Being towards its world, towards Others, 
and towards itself— a Being in which these are understood, but in a mode 
of groundless floating. Curiosity discloses everything and anything, yet in 
such a way that Being-in is everywhere and nowhere. Ambiguity hides 
nothing from Dasein's understanding, but only in order that Being-in- 
the-world should be suppressed in this uprooted "everywhere and 

By elucidating ontologically the kind of Being belonging to everyday 
Being-in-the-world as it shows through in these phenomena, we first 
arrive at an existentially adequate determination of Dasein's basic state. 
Which is the structure that shows us the 'movement' of falling? 

Idle talk and the way things have been publicly interpreted (which idle 
talk includes) constitute themselves in Being-with-one-another. Idle talk 
is not something present-at-hand for itself within the world, as a product 
detached from Being-with-one-another. And it is just as far from letting 
itself be volatilized to something 'universal' which, because it belongs 
essentially to nobody, is 'really' nothing and occurs as 'Real' only in the 
individual Dasein which speaks. Idle talk is the kind of Being that belongs 
to Being-with-one-another itself; it does not first arise through certain 
circumstances which have effects upon Dasein 'from outside'. But if 
Dasein itself, in idle talk and in the way things have been publicly inter- 
preted, presents to itself the possibility of losing itself in the "they" and 
falling into groundlessness, this tells us that Dasein prepares for itself a 
constant temptation towards falling. Being-in-the-world is in itself 
tempting [versucherisch]. 

222 Being and Time I. 5 

Since the way in which things have been publicly interpreted has 
already become a temptation to itself in this manner, it holds Dasein fast 
in its fallenness. Idle talk and ambiguity, having seen everything, having 
understood everything, develop the supposition that Dasein's disclosed- 
ness, which is so available and so prevalent, can guarantee to Dasein that 
all the possibilities of its Being will be secure, genuine, and full. Through 
the self-certainty and decidedness of the "they", it gets spread abroad 
increasingly that there is no need of authentic understanding or the state- 
of-mind that goes with it. The supposition of the "they" that one is 
leading and sustaining a full and genuine 'life', brings Dasein a tranquillity, 
for which everything is c in the best of order' and all doors are open. 
Falling Being-in-the-world, which tempts itself, is at the same time 
tranquillizing [beruhigend]. 

However, this tranquillity in inauthentic Being does not seduce one 
into stagnation and inactivity, but drives one into uninhibited 'hustle' 
["Betriebs"]. Being-fallen into the 'world' does not now somehow 
come to rest. The tempting tranquillization aggravates the falling. With 
special regard to the interpretation of Dasein, the opinion may now arise 
that understanding the most alien cultures and 'synthesizing' them with 
one's own may lead to Dasein's becoming for the first time thoroughly 
and genuinely enlightened about itself. Versatile curiosity and restlessly 
"knowing it all" masquerade as a universal understanding of Dasein. But 
at bottom it remains indefinite what is really to be understood, and the 
question has not even been asked. Nor has it been understood that under- 
standing itself is a potentiality-for-Being which must be made free in one's 
ownmost Dasein alone. When Dasein, tranquillized, and 'understanding' 
everything, thus compares itself with everything, it drifts along towards 
an alienation [Entfremdung] in which its ownmost potentiality-for-Being 
is hidden from it. Falling Being-in-the-world is not only tempting and 
tranquillizing; it is at the same time alienating. 

Yet this alienation cannot mean that Dasein gets factically torn away 
from itself. On the contrary, this alienation drives it into a kind of Being 
which borders on the most exaggerated 'self-dissection', tempting itself 
with all possibilities of explanation, so that the very 'characterologies' 
and 'typologies' which it has brought about 1 are themselves already 
becoming something that cannot be surveyed at a glance. This alienation 
closes off from Dasein its authenticity and possibility, even if only the 
possibility of genuinely foundering. It does not, however, surrender 
Dasein to an entity which Dasein itself is not, but forces it into its 
1 . . die yon ihr gezeitigten ...» We follow the difficilior lectio of the earlier editions. 
The newer editions have . . die von ihr gezeigten . . (\ . . which it has shown ...'). 
bee H. 304 below, and our note ad loc. 

I. 5 Being and Time 223 

inauthenticity — into a possible kind of Being of itself. The alienation of 
falling — at once tempting and tranquillizing — leads by its own movement, 
to Dasein's getting entangled [verfdngt] in itself. 

The phenomena we have pointed out — temptation, tranquillizing, 
alienation and self-entangling (entanglement) — characterize the specific 
kind of Being which belongs to falling. This 'movement' of Dasein in its 
own Being, we call its "downward plunge" [Absturz\. Dasein plunges out 
of itself into itself, into the groundlessness and nullity of inauthentic 
everydayness. But this plunge remains hidden from Dasein by the way 
things have been publicly interpreted, so much so, indeed, that it gets 
interpreted as a way of 'ascending' and 'living concretely'. 

This downward plunge into and within the groundlessness of the in- 
authentic Being of the "they", has a kind of motion which constantly 
tears the understanding away from the projecting of authentic possibil- 
ities, and into the tranquillized supposition that it possesses everything, 
or that everything is within its reach. Since the understanding is thus 
constantly torn away from authenticity and into the "they" (though 
always with a sham of authenticity), the movement of falling is charac- 
terized by turbulence [Wirbel]. 

Falling is not only existentially determinative for Being-in-the-world. 
At the same time turbulence makes manifest that the thrownness which 
can obtrude itself upon Dasein in its state-of-mind, has the character of 
throwing and of movement. Thrownness is neither a 'fact that is finished' 
nor a Fact that is settled. 1 Dasein's facticity is such that as long ay it is 
what it is, Dasein remains in the throw, and is sucked into the turbulence 
of the "they's" inauthenticity. Thrownness, in which facticity lets itself 
be seen phenomenally, belongs to Dasein, for which, in its Being, that very 
Being is an issue. Dasein exists factically. 

But now that falling has been exhibited, have we not set forth a phe- 
nomenon which speaks directly against the definition we have used in 
indicating the formal idea of existence ? Can Dasein be conceived as an 
entity for which, in its Being, its potentiality-for-Being is an issue, if this 
entity, in its very everydayness, has lost itself and, in falling, 'lives' away 
from itself? But falling into the world would be phenomenal 'evidence' 
against the existentiality of Dasein only if Dasein were regarded as an 
isolated "I" or subject, as a self-point from which it moves away. In that 
case, the world would be an Object. Falling into the world would then 
have to be re-Interpreted ontologically as Being-present-at-hand in the 
manner of an entity within- the-world. If, however, we keep in mind 

1 *Die Geworfenheit ist nicht nur nicht eine "fertige Tatsache", sondern auch nicht ein 
abgeschlossenes Faktum.' 

224 Being and Time I. 5 

that Dasein's Being is in the state of Being-in-the-world, as we have already 
pointed out, then it becomes manifest that falling, as a kind of Being of this 
Being-in, affords us rather the most elemental evidence for Dasein's existen- 
tiality. In falling, nothing other than our potentiaUty-for-Being-in 
world is the issue, even if in the mode of inauthenticity. Dasein can fall 
only because Being-in-the-world understanding^ with a state-of-mind 
is an issue for it. On the other hand, authentic existence is not something 
which floats above falling everydayness ; existentially, it is only a modified 
way in which such everydayness is seized upon. 

The phenomenon of falling does not give us something like a 'night 
view' of Dasein, a property which occurs ontically and may serve to 
round out the innocuous aspects of this entity. Falling reveals an essential 
ontological structure of Dasein itself. Far from determining its nocturnal 
side, it constitutes all Dasein's days in their everydayness. 

It follows that our exist ential-ontological Interpretation makes no 
ontical assertion about the 'corruption of human Nature', not because the 
necessary evidence is lacking, but because the problematic of this Inter- 
pretation is prior to any assertion about corruption or incorruption. 
Falling is conceived ontologically as a kind of motion. Ontically, we have 
not decided whether man is 'drunk with sin' and in the status corruptionis, 
whether he walks in the status integritatis, or whether he finds himself in 
an intermediate stage, the status gratiae. But in so far as any faith or 
'world view', makes any such assertions, and if it asserts anything about 
Dasein as Being-in-the-world, it must come back to the existential 
structures which we have set forth, provided that its assertions are to make 
a claim to conceptual understanding. 

The leading question of this chapter has been about the Being of the 
"there". Our theme has been the ontological Constitution of the disclosed- 
ness which essentially belongs to Dasein. The Being of that disclosed- 
ness is constituted by states-of-mind, understanding, and discourse. Its 
everyday kind of Being is characterized by idle talk, curiosity, and 
ambiguity. These show us the movement of falling, with temptation, 
tranquillizing, alienation, and entanglement as its essential characteristics. 

But with this analysis, the whole existential constitution of Dasein has 
been laid bare in its principal features, and we have obtained the phe- 
nomenal ground for a 'comprehensive' Interpretation of Dasein's Being 
as care. 



T| 30. The Question of the Primordial Totality of Dasein's Structural Whole 
Being-in-the-world is a structure which is primordially and con- 
stantly whole. In the preceding chapters (Division One, Chapters 2-5) 
this structure has been elucidated phenomenally as a whole, and also in its 
constitutive items, though always on this basis. The preliminary glance 
which we gave to the whole of this phenomenon in the beginning 1 has 
now lost the emptiness of our first general sketch of it. To be sure, the 
constitution of the structural whole and its everyday kind of Being, is 
phenomenally so manifold that it can easily obstruct our looking at the 
whole as such phenomenologically in a way which is unified. But we may 
look at it more freely and our unified view of it may be held in readiness 
more securely if we now raise the question towards which we have been 
working in our preparatory fundamental analysis of Dasein in general: 
"how is the totality of that structural whole which we have pointed out to be defined 
in an existential-onto logical manner?" 

Dasein exists factically. We shall inquire whether existentiality and 
facticity have an ontological unity, or whether facticity belongs essentially 
to existentiality. Because Dasein essentially has a state-of-mind belonging 
to it, Dasein has a kind of Being in which it is brought before itself and 
becomes disclosed to itself in its thrownness. But thrownness, as a kind of 
Being, belongs to an entity which in each case is its possibilities, and is 
them in such a way that it understands itself in these possibilities and in 
terms of them, projecting itself upon them. Being alongside the ready-to- 
hand, belongs just as primordially to Being-in-the-world as does Being- 
with Others; and Being-in-the-world is in each case for the sake of 
itself. The Self, however, is proximally and for the most part inauthentic, 
the they-self. Being-in-the-world is always fallen. Accordingly Dasein's 
"average everydayness" can be defined as "Being-in-the-world which is falling 
and disclosed, thrown and projecting, and for which its ownmost potentiality-for-Being 
is an issue, both in its Being alongside the 'world 9 and in its Being-with Others". 


226 Being and Time I. 6 

Can we succeed in grasping this structural whole of Dasein's every- 
dayness in its totality? Can Dasein's Being be brought out in such a 
unitary manner that in terms of it the essential equiprimordiality of the 
structures we have pointed out, as well as their existential possibilities of 
modification, will become intelligible? Does our present approach via 
the existential analytic provide us an avenue for arriving at this Being 

To put it negatively, it is beyond question that the totality of the 
structural whole is not to be reached by building it up out of elements. 
For this we would need an architect's plan. The Being of Dasein, upon 
which the structural whole as such is ontologically supported, becomes 
accessible to us when we look all the way through this whole to a single 
primordially unitary phenomenon which is already in this whole in such 
a way that it provides the ontological foundation for each structural item 
in its structural possibility. Thus we cannot Interpret this 'comprehen- 
sively' by a process of gathering up what we have hitherto gained and 
taking it all together. The question of Dasein's basic existential character 
is essentially different from that of the Being of something present-at- 
hand. Our everyday environmental experiencing [Erfahren], which 
remains directed both ontically and ontologically towards entities within- 
the-world, is not the sort of thing which can present Dasein in an ontically 
primordial manner for ontological analysis. Similarly our immanent per- 
ception of Experiences [Erlebnissen] fails to provide a clue which is 
ontologically adequate. On the other hand, Dasein's Being is not be to 
deduced from an idea of man. Does the Interpretation of Dasein which we 
have hitherto given permit us to infer what Dasein, from its own standpoint, 
demands as the only appropriate ontico-ontological way of access to itself? 

An understanding of Being belongs to Dasein's ontological structure. 
As something that is [Seiend], it is disclosed to itself in its Being. The 
kind of Being which belongs to this disclosedness is constituted by state- 
of-mind and understanding. Is there in Dasein an understanding state- 
of-mind in which Dasein has been disclosed to itself in some distinctive 

If the existential analytic of Dasein is to retain clarity in principle as to 
its function in fundamental ontology, then in order to master its provis- 
ional task of exhibiting Dasein's Being, it must seek for one of the most far- 
reaching and most primordial possibilities of disclosure — one that lies in 
Dasein itself. The way of disclosure in which Dasein brings itself before 
itself must be such that in it Dasein becomes accessible as simplified in a 
certain manner. With what is thus disclosed, the structural totality of the 
Being we seek must then come to light in an elemental way. 

I. 6 Being and Time 227 

As a state-of-mind which will satisfy these methodological requirements, 
the phenemonon of anxiety 1 will be made basic for our analysis. In working 
out this basic state-of-mind and characterizing ontologically what is dis- 
closed in it as such, we shall take the phenomenon of falling as our point 
of departure, and distinguish anxiety from the kindred phenomenon of 
fear, which we have analysed earlier. As one of Dasein's possibilities of 
Being, anxiety — together with Dasein itself as disclosed in it — provides 
the phenomenal basis for explicitly grasping Dasein's primordial totality 
of Being. Dasein's Being reveals itself as care. If we are to work out this 
basic existential phenomenon, we must distinguish it from phenomena 
which might be proximally identified with care, such as will, wish, 
addiction, and urge. 2 Care cannot be derived from these, since they 
themselves are founded upon it. 

Like every ontological analysis, the ontological Interpretation of Dasein 
as care, with whatever we may gain from such an Interpretation, lies far 
from what is accessible to the pre-ontological understanding of Being or 
even to our ontical acquaintance with entities. It is not surprising that 
when the common understanding has regard to that with which it has 
only ontical familiarity, that which is known ontologically seems rather 
strange to it. In spite of this, even the ontical approach with which we 
have tried to Interpret Dasein ontologically as care, may appear far- 
fetched and theoretically contrived, to say nothing of the act of violence 
one might discern in our setting aside the confirmed traditional definition 
of "man". Accordingly our existential Interpretation of Dasein as care 
requires pre-ontological confirmation. This lies in demonstrating that no 
sooner has Dasein expressed anything about itself to itself, than it has 
already interpreted itself as care {cur a), even though it has done so only 

The analytic of Dasein, which is proceeding towards the phenomenon of 
care, is to prepare the way for the problematic of fundamental ontology — 
the question of the meaning of Being in general In order that we may turn our 
glance explicitly upon this in the light of what we have gained, and go 
beyond the special task of an existentially a priori anthropology, we must 
look back and get a more penetrating grasp of the phenomena which are 
most intimately connected with our leading question— the question of 
Being. These phenomena are those very ways of Being which we have been 
hitherto explaining: readiness-to-hand and presence-at-hand, as attributes 

1 'Angst'. While this word has generally been translated as 'anxiety* in the post- 
Freudian psychological literature, it appears as 'dread' in the translations of Kierkegaard 
and in a number of discussions of Heidegger. In some ways 'uneasiness* or 'malaise* would 
be more appropriate still. 

2 '. . . Wille, Wunsch, Hang und Drang.' For further discussion see H. 194 ff. below.; 

228 Being and Time I. 6 

of entities within-the-world whose character is not that of Dasein. Because 
the ontological problematic of Being has heretofore been understood 
primarily in the sense of presence-at-hand ('Reality', * world-actuality*), 
while the nature of Dasein's Being has remained ontologically undeter- 
mined, we need to discuss the ontological interconnections of care, world- 
hood, readiness-to-hand, and presence-at-hand (Reality). This will lead 
to a more precise characterization of the concept of Reality in the context 
of a discussion of the epistemological questions oriented by this idea which 
have been raised in realism and idealism. 

Entities are, quite independently of the experience by which they are 
disclosed, the acquaintance in which they are discovered, and the grasping 
in which their nature is ascertained. But Being 'is* only in the under- 
standing of those entities to whose Being something like an understanding 
of Being belongs. Hence Being can be something unconceptualized, but 
it never completely fails to be understood. In ontological problematics 
Being and truth have, from time immemorial, been brought together if not 
entirely identified. This is evidence that there is a necessary connecton 
between Being and understanding, even if it may perhaps be hidden in its 
primordial grounds. If we are to give an adequate preparation for the 
question of Being, the phenomenon of truth must be ontologically clarified. 
This will be accomplished in the first instance on the basis of what we 
have gained in our foregoing Interpretation, in connection with the pheno- 
mena of disclosedness and discoveredness, interpretation and assertion. 

Thus our preparatory fundamental analysis of Dasein will conclude 
with the following themes : the basic state-of-mind of anxiety as a distinc- 
tive way in which Dasein is disclosed (Section 40) ; Dasein's Being as care 
(Section 41); the confirmation of the existential Interpretation of Dasein 
as care in terms of Dasein's pre-ontological way of interpreting itself 
(Section 42) ; Dasein, worldhood, and Reality (Section 43) ; Dasein, dis- 
closedness, and truth (Section 44). 

f 40. The Basic State-of-mind of Anxiety as a Distinctive Way in which Dasein 
is Disclosed 

One of Dasein's possibilities of Being is to give us ontical 'information' 
about Dasein itself as an entity. Such information is possible only in that 
disclosedness which belongs to Dasein and which is grounded in state-of- 
mind and understanding. How far is anxiety a state-of-mind which is 
distinctive? How is it that in anxiety Dasein gets brought before itself 
through its own Being, so that we can define phenomenologically the 
character of the entity disclosed in anxiety, and define it as such in its 
Being, or make adequate preparations for doing so? 

I. 6 Being and Time 229 

Since our aim is to proceed towards the Being of the totality of the 
structural whole, we shall take as our point of departure the concrete 
analyses of falling which we have just carried through. Dasein's absorption 
in the "they" and its absorption in the 'world' of its concern, make 
manifest something like a fleeing of Dasein in the face of itself— of itself as 
an authentic potentiality-for-Being-its-Self. 1 This phenomenon of Dasein's 
fleeing in the face of itself and in the face of its authenticity, seems at least 
a suitable phenomenal basis for the following investigation. But to bring 
itself face to face with itself, is precisely what Dasein does not do when it thus 
flees. It turns away from itself in accordance with its ownmost inertia [Zug] 
of falling. In investigating such phenomena, however, we must be careful not 
to confuse ontico-existentiell characterization with ontologico-existential 
Interpretation nor may we overlook the positive phenomenal bases pro- 
vided for this Interpretation by such a characterization. 

From an existentiell point of view, the authenticity of Being-one's-Self 
has of course been closed off and thrust aside in falling; but to be thus 
closed off is merely the privation of a disclosedness which manifests itself 
phenomenally in the fact that Dasein's fleeing is a fleeing in the face of 
itself. That in the face of which Dasein flees, is precisely what Dasein comes 
up 'behind'. 2 Only to the extent that Dasein has been brought before 
itself in an ontologically essential manner through whatever disclosedness 
belongs to it, can it flee in the face of that in the face of which it flees. To be 
sure, that in the face of which it flees is not grasped in thus turning away 
[Abkehr] in falling; nor is it experienced even in turning thither [Hinkehr]. 
Rather, in turning away from it, it is disclosed 'there'. This existentiell- 
ontical turning-away, by reason of its character as a disclosure, makes it 
phenomenally possible to grasp existential-ontologically that in the face 
of which Dasein flees, and to grasp it as such. Within the ontical 'away- 
from' which such turning-away implies, that in the face of which Dasein 
flees can be understood and conceptualized by 'turning thither' in a way 
which is phenomenologically Interpretative. 

So in orienting our analysis by the phenomenon of falling, we are not 
in principle condemned to be without any prospect of learning something 
ontologically about the Dasein disclosed in that phenomenon. On the 
contrary, here, least of all, has our Interpretation been surrendered to an 
artificial way in which Dasein grasps itself; it merely carries out the 

1 . . offenbart so etwas wie eine Flucht des Daseins vor ihm selbst als eigentlichem 
Selbst-sein-konnen.' The point of this paragraph is that if we are to study the totality of 
Dasein, Dasein must be brought 'before itself or 'face to face with itself (W es selbst*) ; 
and the fact that Dasein flees from itself or 'in the face of itself {'vor ihm selbsf), which 
may seem at first to lead us off the track, is actually very germane to our inquiry. 

2 'Im Wovor der Flucht kommt das Dasein gerade "hinter" ihm her.' 

230 Being and Time I. 6 

explication of what Dasein itself ontically discloses. The possibility of 
proceeding towards Dasein's Being by going along with it and following 
it up [Mit- und Nachgehen] Interpretatively with an understanding and 
the state-of-mind that goes with it, is the greater, the more primordial is 
that phenomenon which functions methodologically as a disclosive state- 
of-mind. It might be contended that anxiety performs some such function. 

We are not entirely unprepared for the analysis of anxiety. Of course it 
still remains obscure how this is connected ontologically with fear. 
Obviously these are kindred phenomena. This is betokened by the fact 
that for the most part they have not been distinguished from one another: 
that which is fear, gets designated as "anxiety", while that which has the 
character of anxiety, gets called "fear". We shall try to proceed towards 
the phenomenon of anxiety step by step. 

Dasein's falling into the "they" and the 'world' of its concern, is what 
we have called a 'fleeing' in the face of itself. But one is not necessarily 
fleeing whenever one shrinks back in the face of something or turns away 
from it. Shrinking back in the face of what fear discloses — in the face of 
something threatening — is founded upon fear; and this shrinking back has 
the character of fleeing. Our Interpretation of fear as a state-of-mind has 
shown that in each case that in the face of which we fear is a detrimental 
entity within-the-world which comes from some definite region but is 
close by and is bringing itself close, and yet might stay away. In falling, 
Dasein turns away from itself. That in the face of which it thus shrinks 
back must, in any case, be an entity with the character of threatening; yet 
this entity has the same kind of Being as the one that shrinks back: it is 
Dasein itself. That in the face of which it thus shrinks back cannot be 
taken as something 'fearsome', for anything 'fearsome' is always encoun- 
tered as an entity within-the-world. The only threatening which can be 
'fearsome' and which gets discovered in fear, always comes from entities 
within-the-world . 

Thus the turning-away of falling is not a fleeing that is founded upon a 
fear of entities within-the-world. Fleeing that is so grounded is still less 
a character of this turning-away, when what this turning-away does is 
precisely to turn thither towards entities within-the-world by absorbing 
itself in them. The turning-away of falling is grounded rather in anxiety, which in 
turn is what first makes fear possible. 

To understand this talk about Dasein's fleeing in the face of itself in 
falling, we must recall that Being-in-the-world is a basic state of Dasein. 
That in the face of which one has anxiety [das Wovor der Angst] is Being-in-the» 
world as such. What is the difference phenomenally between that in the 
face of which anxiety is anxious [sich angstet] and that in the face of 

I. 6 Being and Time 231 

which fear is afraid? That in the face of which one has anxiety is not an 
entity within-the-world. Thus it is essentially incapable of having an 
involvement. This threatening does not have the character of a definite 
detrimentality which reaches what is threatened, and which reaches it 
with definite regard to a special factical potentiaiity-for-Being. That in the 
face of which one is anxious is completely indefinite. Not only does this 
indefiniteness leave factically undecided which entity within-the-world is 
threatening us, but it also tells us that entities within-the-world are not 
'relevant' at all. Nothing which is ready-to-hand or present-at-hand 
within the world functions as that in the face of which anxiety is anxious. 
Here the totality of involvements of the ready-to-hand and the present- 
at-hand discovered within-the-world, is, as such, of no consequence; it 
collapses into itself; the world has the character of completely lacking 
significance. In anxiety one does not encounter this thing or that thing 
which, as something threatening, must have an involvement. 

Accordingly, when something threatening brings itself close, anxiety 
does not 'see' any definite 'here' or 'yonder' from which it comes. That in 
the face of which one has anxiety is characterized by the fact that what 
threatens is nowhere. Anxiety 'does not know' what that in the face of 
which it is anxious is. 'Nowhere', however, does not signify nothing: 
this is where any region lies, and there too lies any disclosedness of the 
world for essentially spatial Being-in. Therefore that which threatens 
cannot bring itself close from a definite direction within what is close by; 
it is already 'there', and yet nowhere; it is so close that it is oppressive and 
stifles one's breath, and yet it is nowhere. 

In that in the face of which one has anxiety, the 'It is nothing and no- 
where' becomes manifest. The obstinacy of the "nothing and nowhere 
within-the-world" means as a phenomenon that the world as such is that in 
the face of which one has anxiety. The utter insignificance which makes itself 
known in the "nothing and nowhere", does not signify that the world is 
absent, but tells us that entities within-the-world are of so little import- 
ance in themselves that on the basis of this insignificance of what is within- 
the-world, the world in its worldhood is all that still obtrudes itself. 

What oppresses us is not this or that, nor is it the summation of every- 
thing present-at-hand; it is rather the possibility of the ready- to-hand in 
general; that is to say, it is the world itself. When anxiety has subsided, 
then in our everyday way of talking we are accustomed to say that 'it was 
really nothing*. And what it was, indeed, does get reached ontically by 
such a way of talking. Everyday discourse tends towards concerning itself 
with the ready-to-hand and talking about it. That in the face of which 
anxiety is anxious is nothing ready-to-hand within-the-world. But this 

232 Being and Time I. 6 

"nothing ready-to-hand", which only our everyday circumspective dis- 
course understands, is not totally nothing. 1 The "nothing" of readiness- 
to-hand is grounded in the most primordial 'something' — in the world, 
Ontologically, however, the world belongs essentially to Dasein's Being as 
Being-in-the-world. So if the "nothing" — that is, the world as such — 
exhibits itself as that in the face of which one has anxiety, this means 
that Being-in-the-world itself is that in the face of which anxiety is anxious. 

Being-anxious discloses, primordially and directly, the world as world. 
It is not the case, say, that the world first gets thought of by deliberating 
about it, just by itself, without regard for the entities within-the-world, 
and that, in the face of this world, anxiety then arises; what is rather the 
case is that the world as world is disclosed first and foremost by anxiety, as 
a mode of state-of-mind. This does not signify, however, that in anxiety 
the worldhood of the world gets conceptualized. 

Anxiety is not only anxiety in the face of something, but, as a state-of- 
mind, it is also anxiety about something. That which anxiety is profoundly 
anxious [sich abangstet] about is not a definite kind of Being for Dasein or 
a definite possibility for it. Indeed the threat itself is indefinite, and there- 
fore cannot penetrate threateningly to this or that factically concrete 
potentiality-for-Being. That which anxiety is anxious about is Being-in- 
the world itself. In anxiety what is environmentally ready-to-hand sinks 
away, and so, in general, do entities within-the-world. The 'world' can 
offer nothing more, and neither can the Dasein-with of Others. Anxiety 
thus takes away from Dasein the possibility of understanding itself, as it 
falls, in terms of the 'world' and the way things have been publicly inter- 
preted. Anxiety throws Dasein back upon that which it is anxious about 
— its authentic potentiality-for-Being-in-the-world. Anxiety individualizes 
Dasein for its ownmost Being-in-the-world, which as something that under- 
stands, projects itself essentially upon possibilities. Therefore, with that 
which it is anxious about, anxiety discloses Dasein as Being-possible, and 
indeed as the only kind of thing which it can be of its own accord as 
something individualized in individualization [vereinzeltes in der Verein- 

Anxiety makes manifest in Dasein its Being towards its ownmost poten- 
tiality-for-Being— that is, its Being-free for the freedom of choosing itself 
and taking hold of itself. Anxiety brings Dasein face to face with its Being- 
free for {propensio in . . .) the authenticity of its Being, and for this authen- 
ticity as a possibility which it always is. 2 But at the same time, this is the 

1 'Allein dieses Nichts von Zuhandenem, das die alltagliche umsichtige Rede einzig 
versteht, ist kein total es Nichts.' This sentence is grammatically ambiguous. 

2 'Die Angst bringt das Dasein vor sein Freisein fur . . . (propensio in . . .) die Eigentlich- 
keit seines Seins als Moglichkeit, die es immer schon ist.' 

I. 6 Being and Time 233 

Being to which Dasein as Being-in-the-world has been delivered over. 

That about which anxiety is anxious reveals itself as that in the face of 
which it is anxious — namely, Being-in-the-world. The selfsameness of that 
in the face of which and that about which one has anxiety, extends even 
to anxiousness [Sichangsten] itself. For, as a state-of-mind, anxiousness is 
a basic kind of Being-in-the-world. Here the disclosure and the disclosed are 
existentially selfsame in such a way that in the latter the world has been disclosed 
as world, and Being-in has been disclosed as a potentiality-for-Being which is 
individualized, pure, and thrown; this makes it plain that with the phenomenon of 
anxiety a distinctive state-of-mind has become a theme for Interpretation. Anxiety 
individualizes Dasein and thus discloses it as 'solus ipse\ But this existential 
'solipsism* is so far from the displacement of putting an isolated subject- 
Thing into the innocuous emptiness of a worldless occurring, that in an 
extreme sense what it does is precisely to bring Dasein face to face with its 
world as world, and thus bring it face to face with itself as Being-in-the- 

Again everyday discourse and the everyday interpretation of Dasein 
furnish our most unbiased evidence that anxiety as a basic state-of-mind 
is disclosive in the manner we have shown. As we have said earlier, a 
state-of-mind makes manifest 'how one is'. In anxiety one feels 'uncanny'. 1 
Here the peculiar indefiniteness of that which Dasein finds itself alongside 
in anxiety, comes proximally to expression: the "nothing and nowhere". 
But here "uncanniness" also means "not-being-at-home" [das Nicht- 
zuhause-sein]. In our first indication of the phenomenal character of 
Dasein's basic state and in our clarification of the existential meaning of 
"Being-in" as distinguished from the categorial signification of 'insideness', 
Being-in was defined as "residing alongside . . .", "Being-familiar with 
. . This character of Being-in was then brought to view more concretely 
through the everyday publicness of the "they", which brings tranquillized 
self-assurance — 'Being-at-home', with all its obviousness — into the aver- 
age everydayness of Dasein. 111 On the other hand, as Dasein falls, anxiety 
brings it back from its absorption in the 'world'. Everyday familiarity 
collapses. Dasein has been individualized, but individualized as Being-in- 
the-world. Being-in enters into the existential 'mode' of the (< not-at-home 9 \ 
Nothing else is meant by our talk about 'uncanniness'. 

By this time we can see phenomenally what falling, as fleeing, flees in 
the face of. It does not flee in the face of entities within-the-world; these are 
precisely what it flees towards — as entities alongside which our concern, 

1 'Befindlichkeit, so wurdefruher gesagt, macht offenbar, "wie einem ist". In der Angst 
ist einem "unheimlieh" The reference is presumably to H. 134 above. While 'unheimlich' is 
here translated as 'uncanny*, it means more literally 'unhomelike', as the author proceeds 
to point out. 

234 Being and Time I. 6 

lost in the "they", can dwell in tranquillized familiarity. When in falling 
we flee into the "at-home" of publicness, we flee in the face of the "not-at- 
home"; that is, we flee in the face of the uncanniness which lies in Dasein 
— in Dasein as thrown Being-in-the-world, which has been delivered over 
to itself in its Being. This uncanniness pursues Dasein constantly, and is a 
threat to its everyday lostness in the "they", though not explicitly. This 
threat can go together factically with complete assurance and self- 
sufficiency in one's everyday concern. Anxiety can arise in the most 
innocuous Situations. Nor does it have any need for darkness, in which it 
is commonly easier for one to feel uncanny. In the dark there is emphatic- 
ally 'nothing' to see, though the very world itself is still 'there', and 'there' 
more obtrusively. 

If we Interpret Dasein's uncanniness from an existential-ontological 
point of view as a threat which reaches Dasein itself and which comes 
from Dasein itself, we are not contending that in factical anxiety too it 
has always been understood in this sense. When Dasein "understands" 
uncanniness in the everyday manner, it does so by turning away from it 
in falling; in this turning-away, the "not-at-home" gets 'dimmed down'. 
Yet the everydayness of this fleeing shows phenomenally that anxiety, as 
a basic state-of-mind, belongs to Dasein's essential state of Being-in-the- 
world, which, as one that is existential, is never present-at-hand but is 
itself always in a mode of factical Being-there 1 — that is, in the mode of 
a state-of-mind. That kind of Being-in-the-world which is tranquillized 
and familiar is a mode of Dasein's uncanniness, not the reverse. From an 
existential-ontological point of view, the "not-at-home" must be conceived as the more 
primordial phenomenon. 

And only because anxiety is always latent in Being-in-the-world, can 
such Being-in-the-world, as Being which is alongside the 'world' and which 
is concernful in its state-of-mind, ever be afraid. Fear is anxiety, fallen 
into the 'world', inauthentic, and, as such, hidden from itself. 

After all, the mood of uncanniness remains, factically, something for 
which we mostly have no existentiell understanding. Moreover, under the 
ascendancy of falling and publicness, 'real' anxiety is rare. Anxiety 
is often conditioned by 'physiological' factors. This fact, in its facticity, is 
a problem ontologicalfy, not merely with regard to its ontical causation and 
course of development. Only because Dasein is anxious in the very depths 
of its Being, does it become possible for anxiety to be elicited physio- 

Even rarer than the existentiell Fact of "real" anxiety are attempts to 

1 Here we follow the earlier editions in reading *Da-seins\ In the later editions the 
hyphen appears ambiguously at the end of a line. 

I. 6 Being and Time 235 

Interpret this phenomenon according to the principles of its existential- 
ontological Constitution and function. The reasons for this lie partly in 
the general neglect of the existential analytic of Dasein, but more parti- 
cularly in a failure to recognize the phenomenon of state-of-mind iv . Yet 
the factical rarity of anxiety as a phenomenon cannot deprive it of its 
fitness to take over a methodological function in principle for the existential 
analytic. On the contrary, the rarity of the phenomenon is an index that 
Dasein, which for the most part remains concealed from itself in its 
authenticity because of the way in which things have been publicly inter- 
preted by the "they", becomes disclosable in a primordial sense in this 
basic state-of-mind. 

Of course it is essential to every state-of-mind that in each case Being- 
in-the-world should be fully disclosed in all those items which are con- 
stitutive for it — world, Being-in, Self. But in anxiety there lies the pos- 
sibility of a disclosure which is quite distinctive; for anxiety individualizes. 
This individualization brings Dasein back from its falling, and makes 
manifest to it that authenticity and inauthenticity are possibilities of its 
Being. These basic possibilities of Dasein (and Dasein is in each case 
mine) show themselves in anxiety as they are in themselves — undisguised 
by entities within-the-world, to which, proximally and for the most part, 
Dasein clings. 

How far has this existential Interpretation of anxiety arrived at a 
phenomenal basis for answering the guiding question of the Being of the 
totality of Dasein's structural whole? 

4 j. Daseirfs Being as Care 

Since our aim is to grasp the totality of this structural whole onto- 
logically, we must first ask whether the phenomenon of anxiety and that 
which is disclosed in it, can give us the whole of Dasein in a way which is 
phenomenally equiprimordial, and whether they can do so in such a 
manner that if we look searchingly at this totality, our view of it will be 
filled in by what has thus been given us. The entire stock of what lies 
therein may be counted up formally and recorded: anxiousness as a state- 
of-mind is a way of Being-in-the-world; that in the face of which we have 
anxiety is thrown Being-in-the-world; that which we have anxiety about 
is our potentiality-for-Being-in-the-world. Thus the entire phenomenon of 
anxiety shows Dasein as factically existing Being-in-the-world, The funda- 
mental ontological characteristics of this entity are existentiality, facticity, 
and Being-fallen. These existential characteristics are not pieces belonging 
to something composite, one of which might sometimes be missing; but 
there is woven together in them a primordial context which makes up 

236 Being and Time I. 6 

that totality of the structural whole which we are seeking. In the unity 
of those characteristics of Dasein's Being which we have mentioned, this 
Being becomes something which it is possible for us to grasp as such 
ontologically. How is this unity itself to be characterized? 

Dasein is an entity for which, in its Being, that Being is an issue. The 
phrase 'is an issue* has been made plain in the state-of-Being of under- 
standing — of understanding as self-projective Being towards its ownmost 
potentiality-for-Being. This potentiality is that for the sake of which any 
Dasein is as it is. In each case Dasein has already compared itself, in its 
Being, with a possibility of itself. Being-free for one's ownmost potentiality- 
for-Being, and therewith for the possibility of authenticity and inauthen- 
ticity, is shown, with a primordial, elemental concreteness, in anxiety. 
But ontologically, Being towards one's ownmost potentiality-for-Being 
means that in each case Dasein is already ahead of itself [ihm selbst . . . 
vorweg] in its Being. Dasein is always 'beyond itself ["iiber sich hinaus"], 
not as a way of behaving towards other entities which it is not, but as 
Being towards the potentiality-for-Being which it is itself. This structure 
of Being, which belongs to the essential 'is an issue', we shall denote as 
Dasein's "Being-ahead-of-itself". 

But this structure pertains to the whole of Dasein's constitution. "Being- 
ahead-of-itself" does not signify anything like an isolated tendency in a 
worldless 'subject', but characterizes Being-in-the-world. To Being-in-the- 
world, however, belongs the fact that it has been delivered over to itself— 
that it has in each case already been thrown into a world. The abandonment 
of Dasein to itself is shown with primordial concreteness in anxiety. 
"Being-ahead-of-itself" means, if we grasp it more fully, " ahead-of -itself 
in-already-being-in-a-world". As soon as this essentially unitary structure is 
seen as a phenomenon, what we have set forth earlier in our analysis of 
worldhood also becomes plain. The upshot of that analysis was that the 
referential totality of significance (which as such is constitutive for world- 
hood) has been 'tied up' with a "for-the-sake-of-which". The fact that this 
referential totality of the manifold relations of the 'in-order-to' has been 
bound up with that which is an issue for Dasein, does not signify that a 
'world' of Objects which is present-at-hand has been welded together with 
a subject. It is rather the phenomenal expression of the fact that the con- 
stitution of Dasein, whose totality is now brought out explicitly as ahead- 
of-itself-in-Being-already-in , . ., is primordially a whole. To put it other- 
wise, existing is always factical. Existentiality is essentially determined by 

Furthermore, Dasein's factical existing is not only generally and without 
further differentiation a thrown potentiality-for-Being-in-the-world; it is 

I. 6 Being and Time 237 

always also absorbed in the world of its concern. In this falling Being- 
alongside . . ., fleeing in the face of uncanniness (which for the most part 
remains concealed with latent anxiety, since the publicness of the "they" 
suppresses everything unfamiliar), announces itself, whether it does so 
explicitly or not, and whether it is understood or not. Ahead-of-itself- 
Being-already-in-a-world essentially includes one's falling and one's 
Being alongside those things ready-to-hand within-the-world with which 
one concerns oneself. 

The formally existential totality of Dasein's ontological structural whole 
must therefore be grasped in the following structure : the Being of Dasein 
means ahead-of-itself-Being-already-in- ( the-world) as Being-alongside 
(entities encountered within-the-world). This Being fills in the significa- 
tion of the term "care" [Sorge], which is used in a purely ontologico- 
existential manner. From this signification every tendency of Being which 
one might have in mind ontically, such as worry [Besorgnis] or carefreeness 
[Sorglosigkeit], is ruled out. 
Because Being-in-the-world is essentially care, Being-alongside the 
sady-to-hand could be taken in our previous analyses as concern, and 
eing with the Dasein-with of Others as we encounter it within-the- 
world could be taken as solicitude. 1 Being-alongside something is concern, 
because it is defined as a way of Being-in by its basic structure — care. 
Care does not characterize just existentiality, let us say, as detached from 
acticity and falling; on the contrary, it embraces the unity of these ways 
n which Being may be characterized. So neither does "care" stand 
>rimarily and exclusively for an isolated attitude of the "I" towards 
tself. If one were to construct the expression 'care for oneself ["Selbst- 
wrge"], following the analogy of "concern" [Besorgen] and "solicitude" 
Tiirsorge], this would be a tautology. "Care" cannot stand for some 
special attitude towards the Self; for the Self has already been character- 
ized ontologically by "Being-ahead-of-itself", a characteristic in which the 
ather two items in the structure of care — Being-already-in . . . and Being- 
alongside . . . — have been jointly posited [mitgesetzt]. 

In Being-ahead-of-oneself as Being towards one's ownmost potentiality- 
for-Being, lies the existential-ontological condition for the possibility of 
Being-free fax authentic existentiell possibilities. For the sake of its potenti- 
ality-for-Being, any Dasein is as it factically is. But to the extent that this 
Being towards its potentiality-for-Being is itself characterized by freedom, 
Dasein can comport itself towards its possibilities, even unwillingly, it can 
be inauthentically; and factically it is inauthentically, proximally and for 
the most part. The authentic "for-the-sake-of-which" has not been taken 
1 Cf. H. 121 and 131 above. 

238 Being and Time I. 6 

hold of; the projection of one's own potentiality-for-Being has been 
abandoned to the disposal of the "they". Thus when we speak of "Being- 
ahead-of-itself", the 'itself' which we have in mind is in each case the Self 
in the sense of the they-self. Even in inauthenticity Dasein remains 
essentially ahead of itself, just as Dasein's fleeing in the face of itself as it 
falls, still shows that it has the state-of-Being of an entity for which its 
Being is an issue. 

Care, as a primordial structural totality, lies 'before' ["vor"] every 
factical 'attitude' and 'situation' of Dasein, and it does so existentially a 
priori; this means that it always lies in them. So this phenomenon by no 
means expresses a priority of the 'practical' attitude over the theoretical. 
When we ascertain something present-at-hand by merely beholding it, 
this activity has the character of care just as much as does a 'political 
action' or taking a rest and enjoying oneself. 'Theory* and 'practice' are 
possibilities of Being for an entity whose Being must be defined as "care". 

The phenomenon of care in its totality is essentially something that 
cannot be torn asunder; so any attempts to trace it back to special acts 
or drives like willing and wishing or urge and addiction, 1 or to construct 
it out of these, will be unsuccessful. 

Willing and wishing are rooted with ontological necessity in Dasein as 
care ; they are not just ontologically undifferentiated Experiences occur- 
ring in a 'stream' which is completely indefinite with regard to the 
meaning of its Being. This is no less the case with urge and addiction. 
These too are grounded in care so far as they can be exhibited in Dasein 
at all. This does not prevent them from being ontologically constitutive 
even for entities that merely 'live'. But the basic ontological state of 'living' 
is a problem in its own right and can be tackled only reductively and 
privatively in terms of the ontology of Dasein. 

Care is ontologically 'earlier' than the phenomena we have just 
mentioned, which admittedly can, within certain limits, always be 
'described' appropriately without our needing to have the full ontological 
horizon visible, or even to be familiar with it at all. From the standpoint 
of our present investigation in fundamental ontology, which aspires 
neither to a thematically complete ontology of Dasein nor even to a 
concrete anthropology, it must suffice to suggest how these phenomena 
are grounded existentially in care. 

That very potentiality-for-Being for the sake of which Dasein is, has 
Being-in-the-world as its kind of Being. Thus it implies ontologically a 
relation to entities within-the-world. Care is always concern and solicitude, 

1 . . besondere Akte oder Triebe wie Wollen und Wunschen oder Drang und Hang . . 
Cf. H. 1 8a. 

I. 6 Being and Time 239 

even if only privatively. In willing, an entity which is understood — that is, 
one which has been projected upon its possibility — gets seized upon, 
either as something with which one may concern oneself, or as something 
which is to be brought into its Being through solicitude. Hence, to any 
willing there belongs something willed, which has already made itself 
definite in terms of a "for-the-sake-of-which". If willing is to be possible 
ontologically, the following items are constitutive for it; (1) the prior 
disclosedness of the "for-the-sake-of-which" in general (Being-ahead-of- 
itself ) ; (2) the disclosedness of something with which one can concern 
oneself (the world as the "wherein" of Being-already) ; x (3) Dasein's 
projection of itself understandingly upon a potentiality-for-Being towards 
a possibility of the entity 'willed'. In the phenomenon of willing, the under- 
lying totality of care shows through. 

As something factical, Dasein's projection of itself understandingly is 
in each case already alongside a world that has been discovered. From 
this world it takes its possibilities, and it does so first in accordance with 
the way things have been interpreted by the "they". This interpretation 
has already restricted the possible options of choice to what lies within 
the range of the familiar, the attainable, the respectable — that which is 
fitting and proper. This levelling off of Dasein's possibilities to what is 
proximally at its everyday disposal also results in a dimming down of the 
possible as such. The average everydayness of concern becomes blind to 
its possibilities, and tranquillizes itself with that which is merely 'actual'. 
This tranquillizing does not rule out a high degree of diligence in one's 
concern, but arouses it. In this case no positive new possibilities are willed, 
but that which is at one's disposal becomes 'tactically' altered in such a 
way that there is a semblance of something happening. 

All the same, this tranquillized 'willing' under the guidance of the 
"they", does not signify that one's Being towards one's potentiality-for- 
Being has been extinguished, but only that it has been modified. In such 
a case, one's Being towards possibilities shows itself for the most part as 
mere urishing. In the wish Dasein projects its Being upon possibilities which 
not only have not been taken hold of in concern, but whose fulfilment has 
not even been pondered over and expected. On the contrary, in the mode 
of mere wishing, the ascendancy of Being-ahead-of-oneself brings with it 
a lack of understanding for the factical possibilities. When the world has 
been primarily projected as a wish-world, Being-in-the-world has lost 
itself inertly in what is at its disposal; but it has done so in such a way 
that, in the light of what is wished for, that which is at its disposal (and 
this is all that is ready-to-hand) is never enough. Wishing is an existential 
1 . . (Welt als das Worin des Schon-seins) . . .» 

240 Being and Time I. 6 

modification of projecting oneself understandingly, when such self- 
projection has fallen forfeit to thrownness and just keeps hankering after 
possibilities. 1 Such hankering closes off the possibilities; what is 'there' in 
wishful hankering turns into the 'actual world'. Ontologically, wishing 
presupposes care. 

In hankering, Being-already-alongside . . . takes priority. The "ahead- 
of-itself-in-Being-already-in ..." is correspondingly modified. Dasein's 
hankering as it falls makes manifest its addiction to becoming 'lived' by 
whatever world it is in. This addiction shows the character of Being out 
for something [Ausseins auf . . .]. Being-ahead-of-oneself has lost itself in 
a 'just-always-already-alongside'. 2 What one is addicted 'towards' [Das 
"Hin-zu" des Hanges] is to let oneself be drawn by the sort of thing for 
which the addiction hankers. If Dasein, as it were, sinks into an addiction 
then there is not merely an addiction present-at-hand, but the entire 
structure of care has been modified. Dasein has become blind, and puts 
all possibilities into the service of the addiction. 

On the other hand, the urge 'to live' is something 'towards' which one 
is impelled, and it brings the impulsion along with it of its own accord. 3 
It is 'towards this at any price'. The urge seeks to crowd out [verdrangen] 
other possibilities. Here too the Being-ahead-of-oneself is one that is 
inauthentic, even if one is assailed by an urge coming from the very thing 
that is urging one on. The urge can outrun one's current state-of-mind 
and one's understanding. But then Dasein is not — and never is — a 'mere 
urge' to which other kinds of controlling or guiding behaviour are added 
from time to time; rather, as a modification of the entirety of Being-in- 
the-world, it is always care already. 

In pure urge, care has not yet become free, though care first makes it 
ontologically possible for Dasein to be urged on by itself. 4 In addiction, 
however, care has always been bound. Addiction and urge are possibilities 
rooted in the thrownness of Dasein. The urge 'to live' is not to be annihi- 
lated; the addiction to becoming 'lived' by the world is not to be rooted 
out. But because these are both grounded ontologically in care, and only 
because of this, they are both to be modified in an ontical and existentiell 
manner by care — by care as something authentic. 

With the expression 'care' we have in mind a basic existential-onto- 
logical phenomenon, which all the same is not simple in its structure. The 

1 *. . . das, der Geworfenhcit verfallen, den Moglichkeiten lediglich noch nachhdngt* 

8 . . in cin "Nur-immer-schon-bei . . Here wc follow the reading of the later 
editions. The earlier editions have ' "Nur-immer-schon-sein-bei ..." * ('just-always- 
Being-already-alongside') . 

3 'Dagegen ist der Drang "zu leben" ein "Hin-zu", das von ihm selbst her den Antrieb 
mitbringt.' The italicization of 'Drang' appears only in the later editions. 

* . . das Bedrangtsein des Daseins aus ihm selbst her . . 

I. 6 Being and Time 241 

ontologically elemental totality of the care-structure cannot be traced 
back to some ontical 'primal element', just as Being certainly cannot be 
'explained' in terms of entities. In the end it will be shown that the idea 
of Being in general is just as far from being 'simple' as is the Being of 
Dasein. In defining "care" as "Being-ahead-of-oneself — in-Being-already- 
in . . . — as Being-alongside . . .", we have made it plain that even this 
phenomenon is, in itself, still structurally articulated. But is this not a 
phenomenal symptom that we must pursue the ontological question even 
further until we can exhibit a still more primordial phenomenon which 
provides the ontological support for the unity and the totality of the 
structural manifoldness of care? Before we follow up this question, we 
must look back and appropriate with greater precision what we have 
hitherto Interpreted in aiming at the question of fundamental ontology 
as to the meaning of Being in general. First, however, we must show that 
what is ontologically 'new' in this Interpretation is ontically quite old. 
In explicating Dasein's Being as care, we are not forcing it under an idea 
of our own contriving, but we are conceptualizing existentially what has 
already been disclosed in an ontico-existentiell manner. 

^[ 42. Confirmation of the Existential Interpretation of Dasein as Care in terms of 
Dasein's Pre-ontological Way of Interpreting Itself 1 

In our foregoing Interpretations, which have finally led to exhibiting 
care as the Being of Dasein, everything depended on our arriving at the 
right ontological foundations for that entity which in each case we ourselves 
are, and which we call 'man'. To do this it was necessary from the outset 
to change the direction of our analysis from the approach presented by the 
traditional definition of "man" — an approach which has not been 
clarified ontologically and is in principle questionable. In comparison 
with this definition, the existential-ontological Interpretation may seem 
strange, especially if 'care' is understood just ontically as 'worry' or 'grief 
[als "Besorgnis" und "Bekummernis"], Accordingly we shall now cite a 
document which is pre-ontological in character, even though its demon- 
strative force is 'merely historical'. 

We must bear in mind, however, that in this document Dasein is expres- 
sing itself 'primordially', unaffected by any theoretical Interpretation and 
without aiming to propose any. We must also note that Dasein's Being is 
characterized by historically, though this must first be demonstrated 
ontologically. If Dasein is 'historical' in the very depths of its Being, then 
a deposition [Aussage] which comes from its history and goes back to it, 

1 'Die Bewahrung der existenzialen Interpretation des Daseins als Sorge aus der vorontologischen 
Selbstauslegung des Daseins.* 

242 Being and Time I. 6 

and which, moreover, is prior to any scientific knowledge, will have especial 
weight, even though its importance is never purely ontological. That 
understanding of Being which lies in Dasein itself, expresses itself pre- 
ontologically. The document which we are about to cite should make plain 
that our existential Interpretation is not a mere fabrication, but that as 
an ontological 'construction' it is well grounded and has been sketched 
out beforehand in elemental ways. 

There is an ancient fable in which Dasein's interpretation of itself as 
'care* has been embedded : v 

Cura cum Jluvium transiret, vidit cretosum lutum 
sustulitque cogitabunda atque coepit finger e. 
dum deliberat quid iam fecisset, Jovis intervenit. 
rogat eum Cura ut det Mi spiritum, et facile impetrat. 
cui cum vellet Cura nomen ex sese ipsa imponere, 
Jovis prohibuit suumque nomen ei dandum esse dictitat. 
dum Cura et Jovis disceptant, Tellus surrexit simul 
suumque nomen esse volt cui corpus praebuerit suum. 
sumpserunt Saturnum iudicem, is sic aecus iudicat: 
( tu Jovis quia spiritum dedisti, in morte spiritum, 
tuque Tellus, quia dedisti corpus, corpus recipito, 
Cura eum quia prima finxit, teneat quamdiu vixerit. 
sed quae nunc de nomine eius vobis controversia est, 
homo vocetur, quia videtur esse /actus ex kumo* 

'Once when 'Care' was crossing a river, she saw some clay; she thought- 
fully took up a piece and began to shape it. While she was meditating on 
what she had made, Jupiter came by. 'Care' asked him to give it spirit, 
and this he gladly granted. But when she wanted her name to be bestowed 
upon it, he forbade this, and demanded that it be given his name instead. 
While 'Care' and Jupiter were disputing, Earth arose and desired that 
her own name be conferred on the creature, since she had furnished it 
with part of her body. They asked Saturn to be their arbiter, and he made 
the following decision, which seemed a just one: 'Since you, Jupiter, have 
given its spirit, you shall receive that spirit at its death; and since you, 
Earth, have given its body, you shall receive its body. But since 'Care' 
first shaped this creature, she shall possess it as long as it lives. And because 
there is now a dispute among you as to its name, let it be called *homo\ 
for it is made out of humus (earth). 51 

1 In both the earlier and later editions Heidegger has 'videt* in the first line of the Latin 
version of the fable, where Bucheler, from whom the text has been taken, has 'vidit'; in 
the 1 2th line Heidegger has 'enim' where Bucheler has 'eum'. The punctuation of the 
Latin version is as Bucheler gives it. The single quotation marks in the English translation 

I. 6 Being and Time 243 

This pre-ontological document becomes especially significant not only 
in that 'care' is here seen as that to which human Dasein belongs 'for its 
lifetime', but also because this priority of 'care' emerges in connection 
with the familiar way of taking man as compounded of body (earth) and 
spirit. "Cura prima Jinxit": in care this entity has the 'source* of its Being. 
"Cura teneat, quamdiu vixerit"; the entity is not released from this source but 
is held fast, dominated by it through and through as long as this entity 
*is in the world'. 'Being-in-the-world' has the stamp of 'care', which 
accords with its Being. It gets the name "homo" not in consideration of its 
Being but in relation to that of which it consists (humus). The decision as 
to wherein the 'primordial' Being of this creature is to be seen, is left to 
Saturn, 'Time'. vi Thus the pre-ontological characterization of man's 
essence expressed in this fable, has brought to view in advance the kind 
of Being which doniinates his temporal sojourn in the world, and does so 
through and through. 

The history of the signification of the ontical concept of 'care' permits 
us to see still further basic structures of Dasein. Burdach vli calls attention 
to a double meaning of the term 'euro? according to which it signifies not 
only 'anxious exertion' but also 'carefulness' and 'devotedness' ["Sorg- 
falt", "Hingabe"]. Thus Seneca writes in his last epistle (Ep. 124): 
'Among the four existent Natures (trees, beasts, man, and God), the latter 
two, which alone are endowed with reason, are distinguished in that God 
is immortal while man is mortal. Now when it comes to these, the good 
of the one, namely God, is fulfilled by his Nature ; but that of the other, 
man, is fulfilled by care (cura): "unius bonum natura perficit, dei scilicet, 
alterius cura, hominis" 

Man's perfectio — his transformation into that which he can be in Being- 
free for his ownmost possibilities (projection) — is 'accomplished' by 'care'. 
But with equal primordiality 'care' determines what is basically specific 
in this entity, according to which it has been surrendered to the world 
of its concern (thrownness). In the 'double meaning' of 'care', what we 
have in view is a single basic state in its essentially twofold structure of 
thrown projection. 

As compared with this ontical interpretation, the existential-ontological 
Interpretation is not, let us say, merely an ontical generalization which is 
theoretical in character. That would just mean that ontically all man's 
ways of behaving are 'full of care' and are guided by his 'devotedness' to 

correspond strictly to the double quotation marks in Heidegger's version; some of these 
are not found in Burdach's translation, which, except for two entirely trivial changes, 
Heidegger has otherwise reproduced very accurately. (On Bucheler and Burdach, see 
Heidegger's note v, ad loc.) Our translation is a compromise between Burdach and the 
original Latin. 

244 Being and Time I. 6 

something. The 'generalization' is rather one that is ontological and a 
priori. What it has in view is not a set of ontical properties which con- 
stantly keep emerging, but a state of Being which is already underlying 
in every case, and which first makes it ontologically possible for this 
entity to be addressed ontically as "cura". The existential condition for the 
possibility of 'the cares of life* and 'devotedness', must be conceived as 
care, in a sense which is primordial — that is ontological. 

The transcendental 'generality' of the phenomenon of care and of 
200 all fundamental existentialia is, on the other hand, broad enough to 
present a basis on which every interpretation of Dasein which is 
ontical and belongs to a world-view must move, whether Dasein is 
understood as affliction [Not] and the 'cares of life' or in an opposite 

The very 'emptiness' and 'generality' which obtrude themselves 
ontically in existential structures, have an ontological definiteness and 
fulness of their own. Thus Dasein's whole constitution itself is not simple in 
its unity, but shows a structural articulation; in the existential conception 
of care, this articulation becomes expressed. 

Thus, by our ontological Interpretation of Dasein, we have been 
brought to the existential conception of care from Dasein's pre-ontological 
interpretation of itself as 'care'. Yet the analytic of Dasein is not aimed at 
laying an ontological basis for anthropology; its purpose is one of funda- 
mental ontology. This is the purpose that has tacitly determined the 
course of our considerations hitherto, our selection of phenomena, and 
the limits to which our analysis may proceed. Now, however, with regard 
to our leading question of the meaning of Being and our way of working 
this out, our investigation must give us explicit assurance as to what we 
have so far achieved. But this sort of thing is not to be reached by super- 
ficially taking together what we have discussed. Rather, with the help of 
what we have achieved, that which could be indicated only crudely at 
the beginning of the existential analytic, must now be concentrated into 
a more penetrating understanding of the problem. 

% 43. Dasein, Worldhood, and Reality 

The question of the meaning of Being becomes possible at all only if 
there is something like an understanding of Being. Understanding of 
Being belongs to the kind of Being which the entity called "Dasein" 
possesses. The more appropriately and primordially we have succeeded 
in explicating this entity, the surer we are to attain our goal in the further 
course of working out the problem of fundamental ontology. 

In our pursuit of the tasks of a preparatory existential analytic of Dasein, 

I, 6 Being and Time 245 

there emerged an Interpretation of understanding, meaning, and inter- 
pretation. Our analysis of Dasein's disclosedness showed further that, with 
this disclosedness, Dasein, in its basic state of Being-in-the-world, has been 
revealed equiprimordially with regard to the world, Being-in, and the 
Self. Furthermore, in the factical disclosedness of the world, entities 
within-the-world are discovered too. This implies that the Being of these 
entities is always understood in a certain manner, even if it is not conceived 
in a way which is appropriately ontological. To be sure, the pre-onto- 201 
logical understanding of Being embraces all entities which are essentially 
disclosed in Dasein; but the understanding of Being has not yet Arti- 
culated itself in a way which corresponds to the various modes of Being. 

At the same time our interpretation of understanding has shown that, 
in accordance with its falling kind of Being, it has, proximally and for the 
most part, diverted itself [sich . . . verlegt] into an understanding of the 
'world'. Even where the issue is not only one of ontical experience but 
also one of ontological understanding, the interpretation of Being takes its 
orientation in the first instance from the Being of entities within-the- 
world. Thereby the Being of what is proximally ready-to-hand gets passed 
over, and entities are first conceived as a context of Things (res) which are 
present-at-hand. "Being" acquires the meaning of "Reality".™! Sub- 
stantiality becomes the basic characteristic of Being. Corresponding to this 
way in which the understanding of Being has been diverted, even the 
ontological understanding of Dasein moves into the horizon of this con- 
ception of Being. Like any other entity, Dasein too is present-at-hand as Real, 
In this way "Being in general" acquires the meaning oi" Reality". Accord- 
ingly the concept of Reality has a peculiar priority in the ontological 
problematic. By this priority the route to a genuine existential analytic 
of Dasein gets diverted, and so too does our very view of the Being of what 
is proximally ready-to-hand within-the-world. It finally forces the general 
problematic of Being into a direction that lies off the course. The other 
modes of Being become defined negatively and privatively with regard to 

Thus not only the analytic of Dasein but the working-out of the question 
of the meaning of Being in general must be turned away from a one-sided 
orientation with regard to Being in the sense of Reality. We must demon- 
strate that Reality is not only one kind of Being among others, but that onto- 
logically it has a definite connection in its foundations with Dasein, the 
world, and readiness-to-hand. To demonstrate this we must discuss in 
principle the problem of Reality, its conditions and its limits. 

Under the heading 'problem of Reality' various questions are clustered: 
(1) whether any entities which supposedly 'transcend our consciousness' 

246 Being and Time I. 6 

are at all ; (2) whether this Reality of the 'external world' can be adequately 
proved] (3) how far this entity, if it is Real, is to be known in its Being-in- 
itself; (4) what the meaning of this entity, Reality, signifies in general. 
The following discussion of the problem of Reality will treat three topics 
202 with regard to the question of fundamental ontology: (a) Reality as a 
problem of Being, and whether the 'external world' can be proved; (b) 
Reality as an ontological problem; (c) Reality and care. 

(a) Reality as a problem of Being, and whether the 'External World' can be 

Of these questions about Reality, the one which comes first iri order is 
the ontological question of what "Reality" signifies in general! But as 
long as a pure ontological problematic and methodology was lacking, 
this question (if it was explicitly formulated at all) was necessarily con- 
founded with a discussion of the 'problem of the external world'; for the 
analysis of Reality is possible only on the basis of our having appropriate 
access to the Real. But it has long been held that the way to grasp the Real 
is by that kind of knowing which is characterized by beholding [das 
anschauende Erkennen]. Such knowing 'is' as a way in which the soul — 
or consciousness — behaves. In so far as Reality has the character of 
something independent and "in itself", the question of the meaning of 
"Reality" becomes linked with that of whether the Real can be inde- 
pendent 'of consciousness' or whether there can be a transcendence of 
consciousness into the 'sphere' of the Real. The possibility of an adequate 
ontological analysis of Reality depends upon how far that of which the Real 
is to be thus independent — how far that which is to be transcended 1 — has 
itself been clarified with regard to its Being. Only thus can even the kind 
of Being which belongs to transcendence be ontologically grasped. And 
finally we must make sure what kind of primary access we have to the 
Real, by deciding the question of whether knowing can take over this 
function at all. 

These investigations, which take precedence over any possible ontological 
question about Reality, have been carried out in the foregoing existential 
analytic. According to this analytic, knowing is a founded mode of access 
to the Real. The Real is essentially accessible only as entities within-the- 
world. All access to such entities is founded ontologically upon the basic 
state of Dasein, Being-in- the- world; and this in turn has care as its even 
more primordial state of Being (ahead of itself— Being already in a world 
— as Being alongside entities within-the-world). 

The question of whether there is a world at all and whether its Being 
1 \ . . das, wovon Unabhangigkeit bestchen soil, was transzendiert wcrdcn soil 

I. 6 Being and Time 247 

can be proved, makes no sense if it is raised by Dasein as Being-in-the- 
world; and who else would raise it? Furthermore, it is encumbered with 
a double signification. The world as the "wherein" [das Worin] of Being- 
in, and the 'world' as entities within-the-world (that in which [das 
Wobei] one is concernfully absorbed) either have been confused or are 
not distinguished at all. But the world is disclosed essentially along with the 
Being of Dasein; with the disclosedness of the world, the 'world' has in 
each case been discovered too. Of course entities within-the-world in the 
sense of the Real as merely present-at-hand, are the very things that can 
remain concealed. But even the Real can be discovered only on the basis 
of a world which has already been disclosed. And only on this basis can 
anything Real still remain hidden. The question of the 'Reality' of the 
'external world' gets raised without any previous clarification of the 
phenomenon of the world as such. Factically, the 'problem of the external 
world 9 is constantly oriented with regard to entities within-the-world 
(Things and Objects). So these discussions drift along into a problematic 
which it is almost impossible to disentangle ontologically. 

Kant's 'Refutation of Idealism' 1 * shows how intricate these questions 
are and how what one wants to prove gets muddled with what one does 
prove and with the means whereby the proof is carried out. Kant calls 
it 'a scandal of philosophy and of human reason in general'* that there is 
still no cogent proof for the 'Dasein of Things outside of us' which will do 
away with any scepticism. He proposes such a proof himself, and indeed 
he does so to provide grounds for his 'theorem' that 'The mere conscious- 
ness of my own Dasein — a consciousness which, however, is empirical in 
character — proves the Dasein of objects in the space outside of me.'* 1 

We must in the first instance note explicitly that Kant uses the term 
'Dasein' to designate that kind of Being which in the present investigation 
we have called 'presence-at-hand'. 'Consciousness of my Dasein' means 
for Kant a consciousness of my Being-present-at-hand in the sense of 
Descartes. When Kant uses the term 'Dasein' he has in mind the Being- 
present-at-hand of consciousness just as much as the Being-present-at- 
hand of Things. 

The proof for the 'Dasein of Things outside of me' is supported by the 
feet that both change and performance belong, with equal primordia ity, 
to the essence of time. My own Being-present-at-hand — that is, the 
Being-present-at-hand of a multiplicity of representations, which has been 
given in the inner sense — is a process of change which is present-at-hand. 
To have a determinate temporal character [Zeitbestimmtheit], however, 
presupposes something present-at-hand which is permanent. But this 
cannot be 'in us', 'for only through what is thus permanent can my 

248 Being and Time 1 . 6 

Dasein in time be determined'.* 11 Thus if changes which are present-at- 
hand have been posited empirically 'in me', it is necessary that along with 
these something permanent which is present-at-hand should be posited 
empirically 'outside of me'. What is thus permanent is the condition which 
makes it possible for the changes 'in me' to be present-at-hand. The 
experience of the Being-in-time of representations posits something 
changing 'in me* and something permanent 'outside of me', and it posits 
both with equal primordiality. 

Of course this proof is not a causal inference and is therefore not 
encumbered with the disadvantages which that would imply. Kant gives, 
as it were, an 'ontological proof in terms of the idea of a temporal entity. 
It seems at first as if Kant has given up the Cartesian approach of positing 
a subject one can come across in isolation. But only in semblance. That 
Kant demands any proof at all for the 'Dasein of Things outside of me 1 
shows already that he takes the subject — the 'in me' — as the starting- 
point for this problematic. Moreover, his proof itself is then carried 
through by starting with the empirically given changes Hn me\ For only 
'in me' is 'time* experienced, and time carries the burden of the proof. 
Time provides the basis for leaping off into what is 'outside of me' in the 
course of the proof. Furthermore, Kant emphasizes that "The problem- 
atical kind [of idealism], which merely alleges our inability to prove by 
immediate experience that there is a Dasein outside of our own, is reason- 
able and accords with a sound kind of philosophical thinking: namely, to 
permit no decisive judgment until an adequate proof has been found. " xlil 

But even if the ontical priority of the isolated subject and inner exper- 
ience should be given up, Descartes' position would still be retained 
ontologically. What Kant proves — if we may suppose that his proof is 
correct and correctly based — is that entities which are changing and 
entities which are permanent are necessarily present-at-hand together. 
But when two things which are present-at-hand are thus put on the same 
level, this does not as yet mean that subject and Object are present-at- 
hand together. And even if this were proved, what is ontologically decisive 
would still be covered up — namely, the basic state of the 'subject', Dasein, 
as Being-in-the-world. The Being-present-at-hand-togeiher of the physical and 
the psychical is completely different ontically and ontologically from the phenomenon 
of Being-in-the-world. 

Kant presupposes both the distinction between the 'in me' and the 
'outside of me', and also the connection between these; factically he is correct 
in doing so, but he is incorrect from the standpoint of the tendency of his 
proof. It has not been demonstrated that the sort of thing which gets 
established about the Being-present-at-hand- together of the changing and 

I. 6 Being and Time 249 

the permanent when one takes time as one's clue, will also apply to the 205 
connection between the 'in me' and the 'outside of me'. But if one were 
to see the whole distinction between the 'inside' and the 'outside' and the 
whole connection between them which Kant's proof presupposes, and if 
one were to have an ontological conception of what has been presupposed 
in this presupposition, then the possibility of holding that a proof of the 
'Dasein of Things outside of me' is a necessary one which has yet to be 
given [noch ausstehend], would collapse. 

The 'scandal of philosophy' is not that this proof has yet to be given, but 
that suck proofs are expected and attempted again and again. Such expectations, 
aims, and demands arise from an ontologically inadequate way of starting 
with something of such a character that independently of it and 'outside' 
of it a 'world' is to be proved as present-at-hand. It is not that the proofs 
are inadequate, but that the kind of Being of the entity which does the 
proving and makes requests for proofs has not been made definite enough. This 
is why a demonstration that two things which are present-at-hand are 
necessarily present-at-hand together, can give rise to the illusion that 
something has been proved, or even can be proved, about Dasein as 
Being-in-the-world. If Dasein is understood correctly, it defies such 
proofs, because, in its Being, it already is what subsequent proofs deem 
necessary to demonstrate for it. 

If one were to conclude that since the Being-present-at-hand of Things 
outside of us is impossible to prove, it must therefore 'be taken merely on 
faith\ xiv one would still fail to surmount this perversion of the problem. 
The assumption would remain that at bottom and ideally it must still be 
possible to carry out such a proof. This inappropriate way of approaching 
the problem is still endorsed when one restricts oneself to a 'faith in the 
Reality of the external world', even if such a faith is explicitly 'acknow- 
ledged' as such. Although one is not offering a stringent proof, one is 
still in principle demanding a proof and trying to satisfy that demand. 

Even if one should invoke the doctrine that the subject must presuppose 
and indeed always does unconsciously presuppose the presence-at-hand 206 
of the 'external world', one would still be starting with the construct of 
an isolated subject. The phenomenon of Being-in-the-world is something 
that one would no more meet in this way than one would by demon- 
strating that the physical and the psychical are present-at-hand together. 
With such presuppositions, Dasein always comes 'too late'; for in so far 
as it does this presupposing as an entity (and otherwise this would be 
impossible), it is, as an entity, already in a world. 'Earlier' than any pre- 
supposition which Dasein makes, or any of its ways of behaving, is the 
l a priori' character of its state of Being as one whose kind of Being is care. 

250 Being and Time I. 6 

To have faith in the Reality of the 'external world', whether rightly or 
wrongly; to "prove" this Reality for it, whether adequately or inade- 
quately; to presuppose it, whether explicitly or not — attempts such as these 
which have not mastered their own basis with full transparency, presuppose 
a subject which is proximally worldless or unsure of its world, and which 
must, at bottom, first assure itself of a world. Thus from the very beginning, 
Being-in-a-world is disposed to "take things" in some way [Auffassen], to 
suppose, to be certain, to have faith — a way of behaving which itself is 
always a founded mode of Being-in-the-world. 

The 'problem of Reality' in the sense of the question whether an external 
world is present-at-hand and whether such a world can be proved, turns 
out to be an impossible one, not because its consequences lead to inextric- 
able impasses, but because the very entity which serves as its theme, is 
one which, as it were, repudiates any such formulation of the question. 
Our task is not to prove that an 'external world' is present-at-hand or to 
show how it is present-at-hand, but to point out why Dasein, as Being-in- 
the-world, has the tendency to bury the 'external world' in nullity 
'epistemologically' before going on to prove it. 1 The reason for this lies 
in Dasein's falling and in the way in which the primary understanding of 
Being has been diverted to Being as presence-at-hand — a diversion which 
is motivated by that falling itself. If one formulates the question 'critically' 
with such an ontological orientation, then what one finds present-at- 
hand as proximally and solely certain, is something merely 'inner'. After 
the primordial phenomenon of Being-in-the-world has been shattered, 
the isolated subject is all that remains, and this becomes the basis on which 
it gets joined together with a 'world'. 

In this investigation we cannot discuss at length the many attempts to 
solve the 'problem of Reality' which have been developed in various 
kinds of realism and idealism and in positions which mediate between 
them. Certainly a grain of genuine inquiry is to be found in each of these; 
but certain as this is, it would be just as perverse if one should want to 
achieve a tenable solution of the problem by reckoning up how much 
has been correct in each case. What is needed rather is the basic insight 
that while the different epistemological directions which have been pur- 
sued have not gone so very far off epistemologically, their neglect of any 
existential analytic of Dasein has kept them from obtaining any basis for 
a well secured phenomenal problematic. Nor is such a basis to be obtained 
by subsequently making phenomenological corrections on the concepts of 
subject and consciousness. Such a procedure would give no guarantee 

1 . . warum das Dasein als In-der-Welt-sein die Tendenz hat, die "Aussenwelt" 
zunachst "erkenntnistheoretisch" in Nichtigkeit zu begraben um sie dann erst zu be- 

I. 6 Being and Time 251 

that the inappropriate formulation of the question would not continue 
to stand. 

Along with Dasein as Being-in-the-world, entities within-the-world 
have in each case already been disclosed. This existential-ontological 
assertion seems to accord with the thesis ot realism that the external world 
is Really present-at-hand. In so far as this existential assertion does not 
deny that entities within-the-world are present-at-hand, it agrees — 
doxographically, as it were — with the thesis of realism in its results. But 
it differs in principle from every kind of realism; for realism holds that 
the Reality of the 'world' not only needs to be proved but also is capable 
of proof. In the existential assertion both of these positions are directly 
negated. But what distinguishes this assertion from realism altogether, is 
the fact that in realism there is a lack of ontological understanding. 
Indeed realism tries to explain Reality ontically by Real connections of 
interaction between things that are Real. 

As compared with realism, idealism, no matter how contrary and unten- 
able it may be in its results, has an advantage in principle, provided that 
it does not misunderstand itself as 'psychological' idealism. If idealism 
emphasizes that Being and Reality are only 'in the consciousness', this 
expresses an understanding of the fact that Being cannot be explained 
through entities. But as long as idealism fails to clarify what this very 
understanding of Being means ontologically, or how this understanding 
is possible, or that it belongs to Dasein's state of Being, the Interpretation 
of Reality which idealism constructs is an empty one. Yet the fact that 
Being cannot be explained through entities and that Reality is possible 
only in the understanding of Being, does not absolve us from inquiring 
into the Being of consciousness, of the res cogitans itself. If the idealist 
thesis is to be followed consistently, the ontological analysis of conscious- 
ness itself is prescribed as an inevitable prior task. Only because Being is 
'in the consciousness' — that is to say, only because it is understandable 
in Dasein — can Dasein also understand and conceptualize such character- 
istics of Being as independence, the 'in-itself ', and Reality in general. 
Only because of this are 'independent' entities, as encountered within-the- 
world, accessible to circumspection. 

If what the term "idealism" says, amounts to the understanding that 
Being can never be explained by entities but is already that which is 
'transcendental' for every entity, then idealism affords the only correct 
possibility for a philosophical problematic. If so, Aristotle was no less an 
idealist than Kant. But if "idealism" signifies tracing back every entity 
to a subject or consciousness whose sole distinguishing features are that 
it remains indefinite in its Being and is best characterized negatively as 

252 Being and Time I. 6 

'un-Thing-like', then this idealism is no less naive in its method than the 
most grossly militant realism. 

It is still possible that one may give the problematic of Reality priority 
over any orientation in terms of 'standpoints' by maintaining the thesis 
that every subject is what it is only for an Object, and vice versa. But in 
this formal approach the terms thus correlated — like the correlation itself 
— remain ontologically indefinite. At the bottom, however, the whole 
correlation necessarily gets thought of as 'somehow' being, and must 
therefore be thought of with regard to some definite idea of Being. Of 
course, if the existential-ontological basis has been made secure beforehand 
by exhibiting Being-in-the-world, then this correlation is one that we can 
know later as a formalized relation, ontologically undifferentiated. 

Our discussion of the unexpressed presuppositions of attempts to solve 
the problem of Reality in ways which are just 'epistemological', shows 
that this problem must be taken back, as an ontological one, into the 
existential analytic of Dasein. xvl 

(b) Reality as an Ontological Problem 

If the term "Reality" is meant to stand for the Being of entities present- 
at-hand within-the-world (res) (and nothing else is understood thereby), 
then when it comes to analysing this mode of Being, this signifies that 
entities within-the-world are ontologically conceivable only if the pheno- 
menon of within-the-world-ness has been clarified. But within-the-world- 
ness is based upon the phenomenon of the world, which, for its part, as an 
essential item in the structure of Being-in-the-world, belongs to the basic 
constitution of Dasein. Being-in-the-world, in turn, is bound up onto- 
logically in the structural totality of Dasein's Being, and we have charac- 
terized care as such a totality. But in this way we have marked out the 
foundations and the horizons which must be clarified if an analysis of 
Reality is to be possible. Only in this connection, moreover, does the 
character of the "in-itself" become ontologically intelligible. By taking 
our orientation from this context of problems, we have in our earlier 
analyses Interpreted the Being of entities within-the-world. xvii 

To be sure, the Reality of the Real can be characterized phenomen- 
ologically within certain limits without any explicit existential-ontological 
basis. This is what Dilthey has attempted in the article mentioned above. 
He holds that the Real gets experienced in impulse and will, and that 
Reality is resistance, or, more exactly, the character of resisting. 1 He then 
works out the phenomenon of resistance analytically. This is the positive 
contribution of his article, and provides the best concrete substantiation 
1 'Realitat ist Widerstand, genauer Widerstandigkeit.* 

I. 6 Being and Time 253 

for his idea of a 'psychology which both describes and dissects'. But he is 
kept from working out the analysis of this phenomenon correctly by the 
epistemological problematic of Reality. The 'principle of phenomenality' 
does not enable him to come to an ontological Interpretation of the Being 
of consciousness. 'Within the same consciousness,' he writes, 'the will and 
its inhibition emerge.' xviii What kind of Being belongs to this 'emerging'? 
What is the meaning of the Being of the 'within' ? What relationship-of- 
Being does consciousness bear to the Real itself? All this must be deter- 
mined ontologically. That this has not been done, depends ultimately on 
the fact that Dilthey has left 'life' standing in such a manner that it is 
ontologically undifferentiated; and of course 'life' is something which one 
cannot go back 'behind'. But to Interpret Dasein ontologically does not 
signify that we must go back ontically to some other entity. The fact that 210 
Dilthey has been refuted epistemologically cannot prevent us from making 
fruitful use of what is positive in his analyses — the very thing that has not 
been understood in such refutations. 

Thus Scheler has recently taken up Dilthey's Interpretation of Re- 
ality.* 1 * He stands for a 'voluntative theory of Dasein'. Here "Dasein" 
is understood in the Kantian sense as Being-present-at-hand. The 'Being 
of objects is given immediately only in the way it is related to drive and 
will'. Scheler not only emphasizes, as does Dilthey, that Reality is never 
primarily given in thinking and apprehending; he also points out parti- 
cularly that cognition [Erkennen] itself is not judgment, and that knowing 
[Wissen] is a 'relationship of Being'. 

What we have already said about the ontological indefiniteness of 
Dilthey's foundations holds in principle for this theory too. Nor can the 
fundamental ontological analysis of 'life' be slipped in afterwards as a 
substructure. Such a fundamental analysis provides the supporting condi- 
tions for the analysis of Reality — for the entire explication of the character 
of resisting and its phenomenal presuppositions. Resistance is encoun- 
tered in a not-coming-through, and it is encountered as a hindrance to 
willing to come through. With such willing, however, something must 
already have been disclosed which one's drive and one's will are out for. 
But what they are out for is ontically indefinite, and this indefiniteness 
must not be overlooked ontologically or taken as if it were nothing. When 
Being-out-for-something comes up against resistance, and can do nothing 
but 'come up against it', it is itself already alongside a totality of involve- 
ments. But the fact that this totality has been discovered is grounded in 
the disclosedness of the referential totality of significance. The experiencing 
of resistance — that is, the discovery of what is resistant to one's endeavours — is pos- 
sible ontologically only by reason of the disclosedness of the World. The character 

254 Being and Time I. 6 

of resisting is one that belongs to entities with-the-world. Factically, 
experiences of resistance determine only the extent and the direction in 
which entities encountered within-the-world are discovered. The sum- 
mation of such experiences does not introduce the disclosure of the world 
for the first time, but presupposes it. The 'against' and the 'counter to' 
as ontological possibilities, are supported by disclosed Being-in-the-world. 

Nor is resistance experienced in a drive or will which 'emerges' in its 
own right. These both turn out to be modifications of care. Only entities 
with this kind of Being can come up against something resistant as some- 
thing within-the-world. So if "Reality" gets defined as "the character of 
resisting", we must notice two things: first, that this is only one character 
of Reality among others; second, that the character of resisting presup- 
poses necessarily a world which has already been disclosed. Resistance 
characterizes the 'external world' in the sense of entities within-the-world, 
but never in the sense of the world itself. 'Consciousness of Reality is itself 
a way of Being-in-the-world. Every 'problematic of the external world' comes 
back necessarily to this basic existential phenomenon. 

If the 'cogito sum* is to serve as the point of departure for the existential 
analytic of Dasein, then it needs to be turned around, and furthermore its 
content needs new ontologico-phenomenal confirmation. The 'sum 9 is then 
asserted first, and indeed in the sense that "I am in a world". As such an 
entity, 'I am' in the possibility of Being towards various ways of comporting 
myself— namely, cogitationes — as ways of Being alongside entities within- 
the-world. Descartes, on the contrary, says that cogitationes are present-at- 
hand, and that in these an ego is present-at-hand too as a worldless res 

(c) Reality and Care 

"Reality", as an ontological term, is one which we have related to 
entities within-the-world. If it serves to designate this kind of Being in 
general, then readiness-to-hand and presence-at-hand function as modes 
of Reality. If, however, one lets this world have its traditional signification, 
then it stands for Being in the sense of the pure presence-at-hand of 
Things. But not all presence-at-hand is the presence-at-hand of Things. 
The 'Nature' by which we are 'surrounded' is, of course, an entity within- 
the-world; but the kind of Being which it shows belongs neither to the 
ready-to-hand nor to what is present-at-hand as 'Things of Nature'. No 
matter how this Being of 'Nature' may be Interpreted, all the modes of 
Being of entities within-the-world are founded ontologically upon the 
worldhood of the world, and accordingly upon the phenomenon of Being- 
in-the world. From this there arises the insight that among the modes of 

I. 6 Being and Time 255 

Being of entities within-the-world, Reality has no priority, and that 
Reality is a kind of Being which cannot even characterize anything like 
the world or Dasein in a way which is ontologically appropriate. 

In the order of the ways in which things are connected in their onto- 
logical foundations and in the order of any possible categorial and 
existential demonstration, Reality is referred back to the phenomenon of care. 
But the fact that Reality is ontologically grounded in the Being of Dasein, 2 1 2 
does not signify that only when Dasein exists and as long as Dasein exists, 
can the Real be as that which in itself it is. 

Of course only as long as Dasein is (that is, only as long as an under- 
standing of Being is ontically possible), 'is there' Being. 1 When Dasein 
does not exist, 'independence' 'is' not either, nor 'is' the 'in-itself'. In 
such a case this sort of thing can be neither understood nor not under- 
stood. In such a case even entities within-the-world can neither be dis- 
covered nor lie hidden. In such a case it cannot be said that entities are, 
nor can it be said that they are not. But now 9 as long as there is an under- 
standing of Being and therefore an understanding of presence-at-hand, 
it can indeed be said that in this case entities will still continue to be. 

As we have noted, Being (not entities) is dependent upon the under- 
standing of Being; that is to say, Reality (not the Real) is dependent upon 
care. By this dependency our further analytic of Dasein is held secure in 
the face of an uncritical Interpretation which nevertheless keeps urging 
itself upon us — an Interpretation in which the idea of Reality is taken as 
the clue to Dasein. Only if we take our orientation from existentiality as 
Interpreted in an ontologically positive manner, can we have any guar- 
antee that in the factical course of the analysis of 'consciousness' or of 
'life', some sense of "Reality" does not get made basic, even if it is one 
which has not been further differentiated. 

Entities with Dasein's kind of Being cannot be conceived in terms of 
Reality and substantiality; we have expressed this by the thesis that the 
substance of man is existence. Yet if we have Interpreted existentiality as care, 
and distinguished this from Reality, this does not signify that our exist- 
ential analytic is at an end; we have merely allowed the intricate problems 
of the question of Being and its possible modes, and the question of the 
meaning of such modifications, to emerge more sharply: only if the under- 
standing of Being is, do entities as entities become accessible; only if 

1 . . "gibt es" Sein.' In his letter Vber den Humanismus (Klostermann, Frankfurt 
A.M., n.d., p. 22, reprinted from Platons Lehre von der Wahrhcit, Francke A.G., Bern, 1947), 
Heidegger insists that the expression 'es gibt* is here used deliberately, and should be 
taken literally as 'it gives'. He writes: 'For the "it" which here "gives" is Being itself. 
The "gives", however, designates the essence of Being, which gives and which confers its 
truth.' He adds that the 'es gibt' is used to avoid writing that 'Being is', for the verb 'is 
is appropriate to entities but not to Being itself. 

256 Being and Time L 6 

entities are of Dasein's kind of Being is the understanding of Being pos- 
sible as an entity. 

% 44. Dasein, Disclosedness, and Truth 

From time immemorial, philosophy has associated truth and Being. 
Parmenides was the first to discover the Being of entities, and he 'ident- 
ified' Being with the perceptive understanding of Being: to ydp avro voelv 
icrriv tc koX cfvcu.** Aristotle, in outlining the history of how the dpxai have 
been uncovered, 111 emphasizes that the philosophers before him, under the 
guidance of 'the things themselves' have been compelled to inquire 
further: avro to npdyfia d)8o7rotr}<r€v avrols kcu ovvi]viyKOJJ€ £17x6 tv.** 1 * 
He is describing thesame fact when he says that dvayKa£6ficvos 8'aKoXovdciv 
rols (fxiivofjidvois**™ — that he (Parmenides) was compelled to follow 
that which showed itself in itself. In another passage he remarks that these 
thinkers carried on their researches vtt* avrijs rrjs aXrjQclas dvayica- 
{d/btcvot 3 ™^ — "compelled by the 'truth' itself". Aristotle describes these 
researches as <f>t,Xoao<f>€iv nepl rrjs dXrjOeiasi*** — " 'philosophizing' about 
the 'truth' " — or even as dtro^aiveaOai ircpi rijs dXydtias*™ 1 — as exhibit- 
ing something and letting it be seen with regard to the 'truth' 
and within the range of the 'truth'. Philosophy itself is defined as imar^T) 
rrjs dAijfle/as***" — "the science of the 'truth' ". But it is also char- 
acterized as imar'qfiTj, rj Oecopelrd ov 17 ov 3 ^ 1 * 1 — as "a science which con- 
templates entities as entities" — that is, with regard to their Being. 

What is signified here by 'carrying on researches into the "truth" ', 
by "science of the 'truth' " ? In such researches is 'truth' made a theme as 
it would be in a theory of knowledge or of judgment? Manifestly not, for 
'truth' signifies the same as 'thing' ["Sache"], 'something that shows 
itself'. But what then does the expression 'truth' signify if it can be used 
as a term for 'entity' and 'Being* ? 

If, however, truth rightfully has a primordial connection with Being, 
then the phenomenon of truth comes within the range of the problem- 
atic of fundamental ontology. In that case, must not this phenomenon 
have been encountered already within our preparatory fundamental 
analysis, the analytic of Dasein? What ontico-ontological connection 
does 'truth' have with Dasein and with that ontical characteristic of 
Dasein which we call the "understanding of Being" ? Can the reason why 
Being necessarily goes together with truth and vice versa be pointed out 
in terms of such understanding ? 

These questions are not to be evaded. Because Being does indeed 'go 
together' with truth, the phenomenon of truth has already been one of the 
themes of our earlier analyses, though not explicidy under this title. In 

I. 6 Being and Time 257 

giving precision to the problem of Being, it is now time to delimit the 
phenomenon of truth explicitly and to fix the problems which it comprises. 
In doing this, we should not just take together what we have previously 214 
taken apart. Our investigation requires a new approach. 

Our analysis takes its departure from the traditional conception of truth, 
and attempts to lay bare the ontological foundations of that conception 
(a). In terms of these foundations the primordial phenomenon of truth 
becomes visible. We can then exhibit the way in which the traditional 
conception of truth has been derived from this phenomenon (b). Qur 
investigation will make it plain that to the question of the 'essence' of 
truth, there belongs necessarily the question of the kind of Being which 
truth possesses. Together with this we must clarify the ontological meaning 
of the kind of talk in which we say that 'there is truth', and we must 
also clarify the kind of necessity with which 'we must presuppose' that 
'there is' truth (c). 

(a) The Traditional Conception of Truth, and its Ontological Foundations 

There are three theses which characterize the way in which the essence 
of truth has been traditionally taken and the way it is supposed to have 
been first defined: (1) that the 'locus' of truth is assertion (judgment); 
(2) that the essence of truth lies in the 'agreement' of thje judgment with 
its object; (3) that Aristotle, the father of logic, not only has assigned 
truth to the judgment as its primordial locus but has set going the defini- 
tion of "truth" as 'agreement'. 1 

Here it is not our aim to provide a history of the concept of truth, which 
could be presented only on the basis of a history of ontology. We shall 
introduce our analytical discussions by alluding to some familiar matters, 
Aristotle says that the iraQruiara rrjs ^XV S are T< *> v irpayp>0LTa)v ofiouo- 
fiaTo**** — that the soul's 'Experiences', its vo^ara ('representations'), 
are likenings of Things. This assertion, which is by no means proposed as 
an explicit definition of the essence of truth, has also given occasion for 
developing the later formulation of the essence of truth ' as adaequatio 
intellectus et rei. 2 Thomas Aquinas, xxx who refers this definition to Avicenna 
(who, in turn, has taken it over from Isaac Israeli's tenth-century 'Book of 
Definitions') also uses for "adaequatio" (likening) the terms "correspondentia" 
("correspondence") and "convenientia" (" coming together"). 

1 Here we follow the older editions in reading . . hat sowohl die Wahrheit dem Urteil 
als ihrem urspriinglichen Ort zugewiesen als auch die Definition der Wahrheit als 
"Ubereinstirnmung" in Gang gebracht.' The newer editions read . . hat sowohl . . . 
zugewiesen, er hat auch . . 

■ This is usually translated as 'adequation of the intellect and the thing*. Heidegger 
makes the connection seem closer by translating both the Latin adaequatio and the Greek 
ofiotatfxa by the word 'Angleichung', which we have somewhat arbitrarily translated as 

258 Being and Time I. 6 

215 The neo-Kantian epistemology of the nineteenth century often char- 
acterized this definition of "truth" as an expression of a methodologically 
retarded naive realism, and declared it to be irreconcilable with any 
formulation of this question which has undergone Kant's 'Copernican 
revolution'. But Kant too adhered to this conception of truth, so much so 
that he did not even bring it up for discussion; this has been overlooked, 
though Brentano has already called our attention to it. 'The old and 
celebrated question with which it was supposed that one might drive the 
logicians into a corner is this: "what is truth?" The explanation of the 
name of truth — namely, that it is the agreement of knowledge with its 
object — will here be granted and presupposed . . . >xxxl . 

'If truth consists in the agreement of knowledge with its object, then this 
object must thus be distinguished from others; for knowledge is false if it 
does not agree with the object to which it is related, even if it should 
contain something which might well be valid for other objects. ,xxxil And 
in the introduction to the "Transcendental Dialectic" Kant states: 'Truth 
and illusion are not in the object so far as it is intuited, but in the judg- 
ment about it so far as it is thought. 'xxxiii 

Of course this characterization of truth as 'agreement', adaequatio, 
o/iouow, is very general and empty. Yet it will still have some justifica- 
tion if it can hold its own without prejudice to any of the most various 
Interpretations which that distinctive predicate "knowledge" will support. 
We are now inquiring into the foundations of this 'relation'. What else is 
tacitly posited in this relational totality of the adaequatio intellect us et rei? 
And what ontological character does that which is thus posited have itself? 

What in general does one have in view when one uses the term 'agree- 
ment'? The agreement of something with something has the formal 
character of. a relation of something to something. Every agreement, and 
therefore 'truth' as well, is a relation. But not every relation is an agree- 
ment. A sign points at what is indicated. 1 Such indicating is a relation, 
but not an agreement of the sign with what is indicated. Yet manifestly 
not every agreement is a convenientia of the kind that is fixed upon in the 
definition of "truth". The number "6" agrees with "16 minus 10". These 

216 numbers agree; they are equal with regard to the question of "how 
much ?" Equality is one way of agreeing. Its structure is such that something 
like a 'with-regard-to' belongs to it. In the adaequatio something gets 
related; what is that with regard to which it agrees? In clarifying the 
'truth-relation' we must notice also what is peculiar to the terms of this 
relation. With regard to what do intellectus and res agree ? In their kind of 
Being and their essential content do they give us anything at all with 

1 'Ein Zeichen zeigt auf das Gczeigte.* 

I. 6 Being and Time 259 

regard to which they can agree? If it is impossible for intellectus and res to 
be equal because they are not of the same species, are they then perhaps 
similar? But knowledge is still supposed to 'give' the thing just as it is. 
This 'agreement' has the Relational character of the 'just as' ["So — 
Wie"]. In what way is this relation possible as a relation between intellectus 
and res? From these questions it becomes plain that to clarify the structure 
of truth it is not enough simply to presuppose this relational totality, but 
we must go back and inquire into the context of Being which provides 
the support for this totality as such. 

Must we, however, bring up here the 'epistemologicaF problematic as 
regards the subject-Object relation, or can our analysis restrict itself to 
Interpreting the 'immanent consciousness of truth', and thus remain 
'within the sphere' of the subject ? According to the general opinion, what 
is true is knowledge. But knowledge is judging. In judgment one must 
distinguish between the judging as a Real psychical process, and that which 
is judged, as an ideal content. It will be said of the latter that it is 'true'. 
The Real psychical process, however, is either present-at-hand or not. 
According to this opinion, the ideal content of judgment stands in a 
relationship of agreement. This relationship thus pertains to a connection 
between an ideal content of judgment and the Real Thing as that which 
is judged about. Is this agreement Real or ideal in its kind of Being, or 
neither of these ? How are we to take ontologically the relation between an ideal 
entity and something that is Real and present-at-hand? Such a relation indeed 
subsists [besteht] ; and in factical judgments it subsists not only as a rela- 
tion between the content of judgment and the Real Object, but likewise 
as a relation between the ideal content and the Real act of judgment. 
And does it manifestly subsist 'more inwardly' in this latter case ? 

Or is the ontological meaning of the relation between Real and ideal 
(fteOc&s) something about which we must not inquire? Yet the 
relation is to be one which subsists. What does such "subsisting" [Best- 
and] mean ontologically? 

Why should this not be a legitimate question? Is it accidental that no 
headway has been made with this problem in over two thousand years ? Has 
the question already been perverted in the very way it has been approached 
— in the ontologically unclarified separation of the Real and the ideal ? 

And with regard to the 'actual' judging of what is judged, is the separa- 
tion of the Real act of judgment from the ideal content altogether unjust- 
ified? Does not the actuality of knowing and judging get broken asunder 
into two ways of Being — two 'levels' which can never be pieced together 
in such a manner as to reach the kind of Being that belongs to knowing ? 
Is not psychologism correct in holding out against this separation, even 

260 Being and Time I. 6 

if it neither clarifies ontologically the kind of Being which belongs to the 
thinking of that which is thought, nor is even so much as acquainted with 
it as a problem ? 

If we go back to the distinction between the act of judgment and its 
content, we shall not advance our discussion of the question of the kind 
of Being which belongs to the adaequatio ; we shall only rjiake plain the 
indispensability of clarifying the kind of Being which belongs to knowledge 
itself. In the analysis which this necessitates we must at the same time try 
to bring into view a phenomenon which is characteristic of knowledge — 
the phenomenon of truth. When does truth become phenomenally explicit 
in knowledge itself? It does so when such knowing demonstrates itself as 
true. By demonstrating itself it is assured of its truth. Thus in the pheno- 
menal context of demonstration, the relationship of agreement must 
become visible. 

Let us suppose that someone with his back turned to the wall makes 
the true assertion that 'the picture on the wall is hanging askew.' This 
assertion demonstrates itself when the man who makes it, turns round 
and perceives the picture hanging askew on the wall. What gets demon- 
strated in this demonstration? What is the meaning of "confirming" 
[Bewahrung] such an assertion? Do we, let us say, ascertain some agree- 
ment between our 'knowledge' or 'what is known' and the Thing on the 
wall? Yes and no, depending upon whether our Interpretation of the 
expression 'what is known' is phenomenally appropriate. If he who makes 
the assertion judges without perceiving the picture, but 'merely repre- 
sents' it to himself, to what is he related? To 'representations', shall we 
say? Certainly not, if "representation" is here supposed to signify repre- 
senting, as a psychical process. Nor is he related to "representations" in 
the sense of what is thus "represented," if what we have in mind here is 
a 'picture' of that Real Thing which is on the wall. 1 The asserting which 
'merely represents' is related rather, in that sense which is most its own, 
to the Real picture on the wall. What one has in mind is the Real picture, 
and nothing else. Any Interpretation in which something else is here 
slipped in as what one supposedly has in mind in an assertion that merely 
represents, belies the phenomenal facts of the case as to that about which 
the assertion gets made. Asserting is a way of Being towards the Thing 
itself that is. 2 And what does one's perceiving of it demonstrate? Nothing 

1 *Er ist auch nicht auf Vorstellungen bezogen im Sinne des Vorgestellten, sofern damit 
gemeint wird ein "Bild" von dem realen Ding an der Wand.* While we follow tradition in 
translating 'Vorstellung' as 'representation', the literal meaning is somewhat closer to 
'putting before us\ In this sense our 'picture* or 'image' ('Bild') of the actual picture 
('Bild') on the wall, is itself something which we have 'put before us' and which is thus 
'vorgestellt', though in English we would hardly call it 'that which we represent*. 

2 'Das Aussagen ist ein Sein zum seienden Ding selbst.' 

I. 6 Being and Time 261 

else than that this Thing is the very entity which one has in mind in one's 
assertion. What comes up for confirmation is that this entity is pointed 
out by the Being in which the assertion is made — which is Being towards 
what is put forward in the assertion; thus what is to be confirmed is that 
such Being uncovers the entity towards which it is. What gets demonstrated 
is the Being-uncovering of the assertion. 1 In carrying out such a demon- 
stration, the knowing remains related solely to the entity itself. In this 
entity the confirmation, as it were, gets enacted. The entity itself which 
one has in mind shows itself just as it is in itself; that is to say, it shows 
that it, in its selfsameness, is just as it gets pointed out in the assertion as 
being— just as it gets uncovered as being. Representations do not get 
compared, either among themselves or in relation to the Real Thing. 
What is to be demonstrated is not an agreement of knowing with its 
object, still less of the psychical with the physical; but neither is it an 
agreement between 'contents of consciousness' among themselves. What 
is to be demonstrated is solely the Being-uncovered [Entdeckt-sein] of the 
entity itself— that entity in the "how" of its uncoveredness. This uncovered- 
ness is confirmed when that which is put forward in the assertion (namely 
the entity itself) shows itself 1 &r that very same thing. "Confirmation" signifies 
the entity's showing itself in its self sameness. , ralv The confirmation is accom- 
plished on the basis of the entity's showing itself. This is possible only in 
such a way that the knowing which asserts and which gets confirmed is, 
in its ontological meaning, itself a Being towards Real entities, and a Being 
that uncovers. 

To say that an assertion "w true" signifies that it uncovers the entity as 
it is in itself. Such an assertion asserts, points out, 'lets' the entity 'be seen' 
(a7r6^avcni) in its uncoveredness. The Being-true (truth) of the assertion 
must be understood as Being-uncovering*. Thus truth has by no means the 
structure of an agreement between knowing and the object in the sense 
of a likening of one entity (the subject) to another (the Object). 

Being- true as Being-uncovering*, is in turn ontologically possible only 
on the basis of Being-in-the-world. This latter phenomenon, which we 
have known as a basic state of Dasein, is the foundation for the primordial 
phenomenon of truth. We shall now follow this up more penetratingly. 

1 'Ausgewiesen wird das Entdeckend-sein der Aussage.' Here and in the following 
pages we find the expression 'Entdeckend-sein' consistently printed with a hyphen in the 
more recent editions. In the older editions it is written sometimes as one word, sometimes 
as two, and it is hyphenated only at the ends of lines. In both editions we sometimes find 
this word printed with a lower-case initial. We have marked such cases with an asterisk; 
for while we prefer the translation 'Being-uncovering' in such cases, the lower-case initia 
suggests that 'to-be-uncovering' may be a better reading. 

262 Being and Time I, 6 

(b) The Primordial Phenomenon of Truth and the Derivative Character of the 
Traditional Conception of Truth 

"Being-true" ("truth") means Being-uncovering*. But is not this a 
highly arbitrary way to define "truth"? By such drastic ways of defining 
this concept we may succeed in eliminating the idea of agreement from 
the conception of truth. Must we not pay for this dubious gain by plunging 
the 'good' old tradition into nullity ? But while our definition is seemingly 
arbitrary, it contains only the necessary Interpretation of what was prim- 
ordialiy surmised in the oldest tradition of ancient philosophy and even 
understood in a pre-phenomenological manner. If a X6yo$ as dn6<f>avcns 
is to be true, its Being-true is dXrjdajcw in the manner of drro(f>alv€a6ai 
— of taking entities out of their hiddenness and letting them be seen in 
their unhiddenness (their uncoveredness). The dA^fleia which Aristotle 
equates with irpaypa and </>aw6ii€va in the passages cited above, signifies 
the 'things themselves'; it signifies what shows itself — entities in the "Aozi;" 
of their uncoveredness. And is it accidental that in one of the fragments of 
Heracleitus** 3 "' — the oldest fragments of philosophical doctrine in which 
the \6yos is explicitly handled — the phenomenon of truth in the sense of 
uncoveredness (unhiddenness), as we have set it forth, shows through? 
Those who are lacking in understanding are contrasted with the Xoyos, 
and also with him who speaks that Adyoy, and understands it. The Xoyos 
is <f>pd£<ov ottw$ ex€t: it tells how entities comport themselves. But to 
those who are lacking in understanding, what they do remains hidden 
— XavOdvei. They forget it (iTrtXavOdvovrai) ; that is, for them it 
sinks back into hiddenness. Thus to the Xoyos belongs unhiddenness — 
d-X-q0€La. To translate this word as 'truth', and, above all, to define 
this expression conceptually in theoretical ways, is to cover up the mean- 
ing of what the Greeks made £ self-evidently' basic for the terminological 
use of dXrjdcia as a pre-philosophical way of understanding it. 
220 In citing such evidence we must avoid uninhibited word-mysticism. 
Nevertheless, the ultimate business of philosophy is to preserve the force 
of the most elemental words in which Dasein expresses itself, and to keep the 
common understanding from levelling them off to that unintelligibility 
which functions in turn as a source of pseudo-problems. 

We have now given a phenomenal demonstration of what we set forth 
earlier** 3 ™ 1 as to Xoyos and dAi?0eia in, so to speak, a dogmatic Inter- 
pretation. In proposing our 'definition' of "truth" we have not shaken off 
the tradition, but we have appropriated it primordially; and we shall have 
done so all the more if we succeed in demonstrating that the idea of 
agreement is one to which theory had to come on the basis of the prim- 
ordial phenomenon of truth, and if we can show how this came about. 

1. 6 * Being and Time 263 

Moreover, the definition' of "truth" as "uncoveredness" and as 
"Being-uncovering", it not a mere explanation of a word. Among those 
ways in which Dasein comports itself there are some which we are accus- 
tomed in the first instance to call 'true'; from the analysis of these our 
definition emerges. 

Being- true as Being-uncovering*, is a way of Being for Dasein. What 
makes this very uncovering possible must necessarily be called 'true' in 
a still more primordial sense. The most primordial phenomenon of truth is fast 
shown by the existentiaUontological foundations of uncovering. 

Uncovering is a way of Being for Being-in-the-world. Circumspective 
concern, or even that concern in which we tarry and look at something, 
uncovers entities within-the-world. These entities become that which has 
been uncovered. They are 'true' in a second sense. What is primarily 
'true' — that is, uncovering — is Dasein. "Truth" in the second sense does 
not mean Being-uncovering* (uncovering), but Being-uncovered (un- 
coveredness) . 

Our earlier analysis of the worldhood of the world and of entities within- 
the-world has shown, however, that the uncoveredness of entities within- 
the-world is grounded in the world's disclosedness. But disclosedness is that 
basic character of Dasein according to which it is its "there". Disclosedness 
is constituted by state-of-mind, understanding, and discourse, and pertains 
equiprimordially to the world, to Being-in, and to the Self. In its very 
structure, care is ahead of itself—Being already in a world — as Being 
alongside entities within-the-world; and in this structure the disclosedness 
of Dasein lies hidden. With and through it is uncoveredness; 1 hence only 
with Dasein's disclosedness is the most primordial phenomenon of truth 22I 
attained. What we have pointed out earlier with regard to the existential 
Constitution of the "there"™™ 11 and in relation to the everyday Being 
of the "there",™™ 1 pertains to the most primordial phenomenon of 
truth, nothing less. In so far as Dasein is its disclosedness essentially, and 
discloses and uncovers as something disclosed to this extent it is essen- 
tially 'true'. Dasein is 'in the truth 9 . This assertion has meaning ontologically. 
It does not purport to say that ontically Dasein is introduced 'to all the 
truth' either always or just in every case, but rather that the disclosedness 
of its ownmost Being belongs to its existential constitution. 

If we accept the results we have obtained earlier, the full existential 

meaning of the principle that 'Dasein is in the truth' can be restored by 

the following considerations: 

1 l Mit und durch sic ist Entdecktheit . . .' Our version reflects the ambiguity of the 
German, which leaves the grammatical function of the pronoun 'sie' obscure and permits 
it to refer either to 'the disclosedness of Dasein', to 'care', or — perhaps most likely — to 
'the structure of care'. 

264 Being and Time I. 6 

(1) To Dasein's state of Being, disclosedness in general essentially belongs. 
It embraces the whole of that structure-of-Being which has become 
explicit through the phenomenon of care. To care belongs not only Being- 
in-the-world but also Being alongside entities within-the-world. The 
uncoveredness of such entities is equiprimordial with the Being of Dasein 
and its disclosedness. 

(2) To Dasein's state of Being belongs thrownness; indeed it is constitutive 
for Dasein's disclosedness. In thrownness is revealed that in each case 
Dasein, as my Dasein and this Dasein, is already in a definite world and 
alongside a definite range of definite entities within-the-world. 1 Dis- 
closedness is essentially factical. 

(3) To Dasein's state of Being belongs projection — disclosive Being to- 
wards its potentiality-for-Being. As something that understands, Dasein 
can understand itself in terms of the 'world' and Others or in terms of its 
ownmost potentiality-for-Being. 2 The possibility just mentioned means 
that Dasein discloses itself to itself in and as its ownmost potentiality-for 
Being. This authentic disclosedness shows the phenomenon of the most 
primordial truth in the mode of authenticity. The most primordial, and 
indeed the most authentic, disclosedness in which Dasein, as a potent- 
iality-for-Being, can be, is the truth of existence. This becomes existentially 
and ontologically definite only in connection with the analysis of Dasein's 

(4) To Dasein's state of Being belongs falling. Proximally and for the 
222 most part Dasein is lost in its * world'. Its understanding, as a projection 

upon possibilities of Being, has diverted itself thither. Its absorption in the 
"they" signifies that it is dominated by the way things are publicly 
interpreted. That which has been uncovered and disclosed stands in a 
mode in which it has been disguised and closed off by idle talk, curiosity, 
and ambiguity. Being towards entities has not been extinguished, but it 
has been uprooted. Entities have not been completely hidden; they are 
precisely the sort of thing that has been uncovered, but at the same time 
they have been disguised. They show themselves, but in the mode of 
semblance. Likewise what has formerly been uncovered sinks back again, 
hidden and disguised. Because Dasein is essentially falling, its state of Being is 
such that it is in 'untruth'. This term, like the expression Tailing', is here 
used ontologically. If we are to use it in existential analysis, we must 

1 *In ihr enthullt sich, dass Dasein je schon als meines und dieses in einer bestimmten 
Welt und bei einem bestimmten Umkreis von bestimmten innerweltlichen Seienden ist.' 

2 . . der Entwurf: das erschliessende Sein zu seinem Seinkonnen. Dasein kann sich als 
verstehendes aus der "Welt" und den Anderen her verstehen oder aus seinem eigensten 
Seinkonnen.' The earlier editions have a full stop after 'Entwurf' rather than a colon, and 
introduce 'das' with a capital. The grammatical function of 'als verstehe^ides , seems 

I. 6 Being and Time 265 

avoid giving it any ontically negative 'evaluation'. To be closed off and 
covered up belongs to Dasein's facticity. In its full existential-ontological 
meaning, the proposition that 'Dasein is in the truth' states equiprim- 
ordially that 'Dasein is in untruth'. But only in so far as Dasein has been 
disclosed has it also been closed off; and only in so far as entities within- 
the-world have been uncovered along with Dasein, have such entities, 
as possibly encounterable within-the-world, been covered up (hidden) or 

It is therefore essential that Dasein should explicitly appropriate what 
has already been uncovered, defend it against semblance and disguise, and 
assure itself of its uncoveredness again and again. The uncovering of 
anything new is never done on the basis of having something completely 
hidden, but takes its departure rather from uncoveredness in the mode of 
semblance. Entities look as if . . . That is, they have, in a certain way, 
been uncovered already, and yet they are still disguised. 

Truth (uncoveredness) is something that must always first be wrested 
from entities. Entities get snatched out of their hiddenness. The factical 
uncoveredness of anything is always, as it were, a kind of robbery. Is it 
accidental that when the Greeks express themselves as to the essence of 
truth, they use a privative expression — d-A^eta? When Dasein so expresses 
itself, does not a primordial understanding of its own Being thus make 
itself known — the understanding (even if it is only pre-ontological) that 
Being-in-untruth makes up an essential characteristic of Being-in-the 
world ? 

The goddess of Truth who guides Parmenides, puts two pathways 
before him, one of uncovering, one of hiding; but this signifies nothing 
else than that Dasein is already both in the truth and in untruth. The way 
of uncovering is achieved only in Kpiveiv \6ya> — in distinguishing between 
these understanding^, and making one's decision for the one rather 
than the other.***** 

The existential-ontological condition for the fact that Being-in-the- 
world is characterized by 'truth' and 'untruth', lies in that state of Dasein's 
Being which we have designated as thrown projection. This is something that 
is constitutive for the structure of care. 

The upshot of our existential-ontological Interpretation of the pheno- 
menon of truth is (1) that truth, in the most primordial sense, is Dasein's 
disclosedness, to which the uncoveredness of entities within-the-world 
belongs; and (2) that Dasein is equiprimordially both in the truth and in 

Within the horizon of the traditional Interpretation of the phenomenon 
of truth, our insight into these principles will not be complete until it can 

266 Being and Time I. 6 

be shown: (i) that truth, understood as agreement, originates from dis- 
closedness by way of definite modification; (2) that the kind of Being 
which belongs to disclosedness itself is such that its derivative modification 
first comes into view and leads the way for the theoretical explication of 
the structure of truth. 

Assertion and its structure (namely, the apophantical "as") are founded 
upon interpretation and its structure (viz, the hermeneutical "as") and 
also upon understanding — upon Dasein's disclosedness. Truth, however, 
is regarded as a distinctive character of assertion as so derived. Thus the 
roots of the truth of assertion reach back to the disclosedness of the under- 
standing.* 1 But over and above these indications of how the truth of 
assertion has originated, the phenomenon of agreement must not be 
exhibited explicitly in its derivative character. 

Our Being alongside entities within-the-world is concern, and this is 
Being which uncovers. To Dasein's disclosedness, however, discourse 
belongs essentially . x11 Dasein expresses itself [spricht sich aus] : it expresses 
itself as a Being-towards entities — a Being-towards which uncovers. And 
in assertion it expresses itself as such about entities which have been 
uncovered. Assertion communicates entities in the "how" of their un- 
coveredness. When Dasein is aware of the communication, it brings itself 
in its awareness into an uncovering Being-towards the entities discussed. 
The assertion which is expressed is about something, and in what it is 
about [in ihrem Woriiber] it contains the uncoveredness of these entities. 
This uncoveredness is preserved in what is expressed. What is expressed 
becomes, as it were, something ready-to-hand within-the-world which can 
be taken up and spoken again. 1 Because the uncoveredness has been 
preserved, that which is expressed (which thus is ready-to-hand) has in 
itself a relation to any entities about which it is, an assertion. Any un- 
coveredness is an uncoveredness of something. Even when Dasein speaks 
over again what someone else has said, it comes into a Being-towards the 
very entities which have been discussed. 8 But it has been exempted from 
having to uncover them again, primordially, and it holds that it has 
been thus exempted. 

Dasein need not bring itself face to face with entities themselves in an 
'original* experience; but it nevertheless remains in a Being-towards these 
entities. In a large measure uncoveredness gets appropriated not by one's 
own uncovering, but rather by hearsay of something that has been said. 

1 'Das Ausgesprochene wird gleichsam zu einem innerweltlich Zuhandenen, das 
aufgenommen und weitergesprochen werden kann.' While we have ' followed our usual 
policy in translating 'das Ausgesprochene' as 'what is expressed', it might perhaps be 
translated as 'that which is spoken out', 'the utterance', or even 'the pronouncement'. 

2 "Auch im Nachsprechen kommt das nachsprechende Dasein in ein Sein zum be- 
sprochenen Seienden selbst.' 

I. 6 Being and Time 267 

Absorption in something that has been said belongs to the kind of Being 
which the "they" possesses. That which has been expressed as such takes 
over Being-towards those entities which have been uncovered in the asser- 
tion. If, however, these entities are to be appropriated explicitly with 
regard to their uncoveredness, this amounts to saying that the assertion 
is to be demonstrated as one that uncovers. But the assertion expressed is 
something ready-to-hand, and indeed in such a way that, as something 
by which uncoveredness is preserved, it has in itself a relation to the 
entities uncovered. Now to demonstrate that it is something which 
uncovers [ihres Entdeckend-seins] means to demonstrate how the asser- 
tion by which the uncoveredness is preserved is related to these entities. 
The assertion is something ready-to-hand. The entities to which it is 
related as something that uncovers, are either ready-to-hand or present- 
at-hand within-the-world. The relation itself presents itself thus, as one 
that is present-at-hand. But this relation lies in the fact that the uncovered- 
ness preserved in the assertion is in each case an uncoveredness o f some- 
thing. The judgment 'contains something which holds for the objects' 
(Kant). But the relation itself now acquires the character of presence-at- 
hand by getting switched over to a relationship between things which are 
present-at-hand. The uncoveredness of something becomes the present- 
at-hand conformity of one thing which is present-at-hand — the assertion 
expressed — to something else which is present-at-hand — the entity under 
discussion. And if this conformity is seen only as a relationship between 
things which are present-at-hand — that is, if the kind of Being which 
belongs to the terms of this relationship has not been discriminated and is 
understood as something merely present-at-hand — then the relation shows 
itself as an agreement of two things which are present-at-hand, an agree- 
ment which is present-at-hand itself. 

When the assertion has been expressed, the uncoveredness of the entity moves into 
the kind of Being of that which is ready-to-hand within-the-world. 1 But now to the 
extent that in this uncoveredness, as an uncoveredness o f something, a 
relationship to something present-at-hand persists, the uncoveredness (truth) becomes, 
for its part, a relationship between things which are present-at-hand intellectus 
and res) — a relationship that is present-at-hand itself 

Though it is founded upon Dasein's disclosedness, the existential 
phenomenon of uncoveredness becomes a property which is present-at- 
hand but in which there still lurks a relational character; and as such a 
property, it gets broken asunder into a relationship which is present-at- 
hand. Truth as disclosedness and as a Being-towards uncovered entities — a 

1 'Die Entdecktheit des Seienden ruckt mit der Ausgesprochenheit der Aussage in die Seinsart des 
innerweltlich Z^ondenen* 

268 Being and Time I. 6 

Being which itself uncovers — has become truth as agreement between 
things which are present-at-hand within-the-world. And thus we have 
pointed out the ontologically derivative character of the traditional con- 
ception of truth. 

Yet that which is last in the order of the way things are connected in 
their foundations existentially and ontologically, is regarded ontically 
and factically as that which is first and closest to us. The necessity of this 
Fact, however, is based in turn upon the kind of Being which Dasein itself 
possesses. Dasein, in its concernful absorption, understands itself in terms 
of what it encounters within-the-world. The uncoveredness which belongs 
to uncovering, is something that we come across proximally within-the- 
world in that which has been ^pressed [im -diagesprochenen]. Not only 
truth, however, is encountered as present-at-hand: in general our under- 
standing of Being is such that every entity is understood in the first 
instance as present-at-hand. If the 'truth' which we encounter proximally 
in an ontical manner is considered ontologically in the way that is closest 
to us, then the \6yos (the assertion) gets understood as \6yo$ twos — 
as an assertion about something, an uncoveredness of something; but 
the phenomenon gets Interpreted as something present-at-hand with 
regard to its possible presence-at-hand. 1 Yet because presence-at-hand 
has been equated with the meaning of Being in general, the question of 
whether this kind of Being of truth is a primordial one, and whether there 
is anything primordial in that structure of it which we encounter as 
closest to us, can not come alive at all. The primordial phenomenon of truth has 
been covered up by DaseirCs very understanding of Being — that understanding which 
is proximally the one that prevails, and which even today has not been surmounted 
explicitly and in principle. 

At the same time, however, we must not overlook the fact that while this 
way of understanding Being (the way which is closest to us) is one which the 
Greeks were the first to develop as a branch of knowledge and to master, 
the primordial understanding of truth was simultaneously alive among 
them, even if pre-ontologically, and it even held its own against the con- 
cealment implicit in their ontology — at least in Aristotle.* 111 

Aristotle never defends the thesis that the primordial 'locus' of truth 
is in the judgment. He says rather that the Aoyo? is that way of Being in 
which Dasein can either uncover or cover up. This double possibility is what 
is distinctive in the Being-true of the Xoyos: the \6yos is that way of 
comporting oneself which can also cover things up. And because Aristotle 
never upheld the thesis we have mentioned, he was also never in a 

1 . . interpretiert aber das Phanomen als Vorhandenes auf seine mogliche Vorhan- 

I. 6 Being and Time 269 

situation to broaden' the conception of truth in the A6yo$ to include pure 
voetv. The truth of ahdrjais and of the seeing of 'ideas' is the prim- 
ordial kind of uncovering. And only because vo^ais primarily uncovers, 
can the Xoyos as Siavoetv also have uncovering as its function. 

Not only is it wrong to invoke Aristotle for the thesis that the genuine 
'locus' of truth lies in the judgment; even in its content this thesis fails 
to recognize the structure of truth. Assertion is not the primary 'locus' of 
truth. On the contrary, whether as a mode in which uncoveredness is appro- 
priated or as a way of Being-in-the-world, assertion is grounded in Dasein's 
uncovering, or rather in its disclosedness. The most primordial 'truth' is 
the 'locus' of assertion; it is the ontological condition for the possibility 
that assertions can be either true or false — that they may uncover or 
cover things up. 

Truth, understood in the most primordial sense, belongs to the basic 
constitution of Dasein, The term signifies an existentiale. But herewith we 
have already sketched out our answers to the question of what kind of 
Being truth possesses, and to the question of in what sense it is necessary 
to presuppose that 'there is truth'. 

(c) The Kind of Being which Truth Possesses, and the Presupposition of Truth 

Dasein, as constituted by disclosedness, is essentially in the truth. 
Disclosedness is a kind of Being which is essential to Dasein. ' There is* 
truth only in so far as Dasein i s and so long as Dasein i s. Entities are un- 
covered only when Dasein is; and only as long as Dasein is, are they 
disclosed. Newton's laws, the principle of contradiction, any truth whatever 
— these are true only as long as Dasein is. Before there was any Dasein, 
there was no truth; nor will there be any after Dasein is no more. For in 
such a case truth as disclosedness, uncovering, and uncoveredness, cannot 
be. Before Newton's laws were discovered, they were not 'true'; it does 
not follow that they were false, or even that they would become false if 
ontically no discoveredness were any longer possible. Just as little does 
this 'restriction' imply that the Being-true of 'truths' has in any way been 

To say that before Newton his laws were neither true nor false, cannot 
signify that before him there were no such entities as have been uncovered 
and pointed out by those laws. Through Newton the laws became true; 
and with them, entities became accessible in themselves to Dasein. Once 
entities have been uncovered, they show themselves precisely as entities 
which beforehand already were. Such uncovering is the kind of Being 
which belongs to 'truth'. 

That there are 'eternal truths' will not be adequately proved until 

270 Being and Time I. 6 

someone has succeeded in demonstrating that Dasein has been and will 
be for all eternity. As long as such a proof is still outstanding, this principle 
remains a fanciful contention which does not gain in legitimacy from 
having philosophers commonly 'believe' it. 

Because the kind of Being that is essential to truth is of the character of Dasein, 
all truth is relative to Dasein' s Being. Does this relativity signify that all truth 
is 'subjective'? If one Interprets Subjective' as 'left to the subject's discre- 
tion', then it certainly does not. For uncovering, in the sense which is most 
its own, takes asserting out of the province of 'subjective' discretion, and 
brings the uncovering Dasein face to face with the entities themselves. 
And only because 'truth', as uncovering, is a kind of Being which belongs to 
Dasein, can it be taken out of the province of Dasein 1 s discretion. Even the 
'universal validity' of truth is rooted solely in the fact that Dasein can 
uncover entities in themselves and free them. Only so can these entities 
in themselves be binding for every possible assertion — that is, for 
every way of pointing them out. 1 If truth has been correctly under- 
stood, is it in the least impaired by the fact that it is ontically possible 
only in the 'subject' and that it stands and falls with the Being of that 

Now that we have an existential conception of the kind of Being that 
belongs to truth, the meaning of "presupposing the truth" also becomes 
intelligible. Why must we presuppose that there is truth ? What is 'presupposing' ? 
What do we have in mind with the 'must' and the 'we' ? What does it 
mean to say 'there is truth' ? 'We' presuppose truth because Ve'j being 
in the kind of Being which Dasein possesses, are 'in the truth'. We do not 
presuppose it as something 'outside' us and 'above' us, towards which, 
along with other 'values', we comport ourselves. It is not we who pre- 
suppose 'truth'; but it is 'truth* that makes it at all possible ontologically 
for us to be able to be such that we 'presuppose' anything at all. Truth is 
what first makes possible anything like presupposing. 

What does it mean to 'presuppose' ? It is to understand something as 

the ground for the Being of some other entity. Such understanding of an 

entity in its interconnections of Being, is possible only on the ground of 

disclosedness — that is, on the ground of Dasein's Being something which 

uncovers. Thus to presuppose 'truth' means to understand it as something 

for the sake of which Dasein i s. But Dasein is already ahead of itself in 

each case; this is implied in its state-of-Being as care. It is an entity for 

which, in its Being, its ownmost potentiality-for-Being is an issue. To 

Dasein's Being and its potentiality-for-Being as Being-in-the-world, 

1 'Auch die "Allgemeingiiltigkeit" der Wahrheit ist lediglich verwurzelt, dass das 
Dasein Seiendes an ihm selbst entdecken und freigeben kann. Nur so vermag dieses 
Seiende an ihm selbst jede mogliche Aussage, das heisst Aufzeigung seiner, zu binden.' 

I. 6 Being and Time 271 

disclosedness and uncovering belong essentially. To Dasein its potentiality- 
for-Being-in-the-world is an issue, and this includes 1 concerning itself with 
entities within-the-world and uncovering them circumspectively. In 
Dasein's state-of-Being as care, in Being-ahead-of-itself, lies the most 
primordial 'presupposing'. Because this presupposing of itself belongs to Dasein's 
Being, 'we 9 must also presuppose 'ourselves' as having the attribute of disclosedness. 
There are also entities with a character other than that of Dasein, but the 
'presupposing' which lies in Dasein's Being does not relate itself to these ; 
it relates itself solely to Dasein itself. The truth which has been pre- 
supposed, or the 'there is' by which its Being is to be defined, has that 
kind of Being — or meaning of Being — which belongs to Dasein itself. We 
must 'make' the presupposition of truth because it is one that has been 
'made' already with the Being of the 'we'. 

We must presuppose truth. Dasein itself, as in each case m y Dasein and 
this Dasein, must be; and in the same way the truth, as Dasein's dis- 
closedness, must be. This belongs to Dasein's essential thrownness into the 
world. Has Dasein as itself ever decided freely whether it wants to come into 
1 Dasein' or not, and will it ever be able to make such a decision? 'In itself' it is 
quite incomprehensible why entities are to be uncovered, why truth and 
Dasein must be. The usual refutation of that scepticism which denies 
either the Being of 'truth' or its cognizability, stops half way. What it 
shows, as a formal argument, is simply that if anything gets judged, truth 
has been presupposed. This suggests that 'truth' belongs to assertion — 
that pointing something out is, by its very meaning, an uncovering. But 
when one says this, one has to clarify why that in which there lies the onto- 
logical ground for this necessary connection between assertion and truth 
as regards their Being, must be as it isr. The kind of Being which belongs 
to truth is likewise left completely obscure, and so is the meaning of 
presupposing, and that of its ontological foundation in Dasein itself. 
Moreover, one here fails to recognize that even when nobody judges, 
truth already gets presupposed in so far as Dasein i s at all. 

A sceptic can no more be refuted than the Being of truth can be 
'proved'. And if any sceptic of the kind who denies the truth, factically is, 
he does not even need to be refuted. In so far as he is, and has understood 
himself in this Being, he has obliterated Dasein in the desperation of 
suicide; and in doing so, he has also obliterated truth. Because Dasein, 
for its own part, cannot first be subjected to proof, the necessity of truth 
cannot be proved either. It has no more been demonstrated that there 
ever has 'been' an 'actual' sceptic 2 (though this is what has at bottom 

1 Reading 'und darin' with the newer editions. The older editions have 'd.h. u.a.' 

2 *. . » dass es je . , . einen "wirklichen" Skeptiker "gegeben" hat.* The older editions 
have 'nie' ('never') instead of 'je' ('ever'). 

272 Being and Time I. 6 

been believed in the refutations of scepticism, in spite of what these under- 
take to do) than it has been demonstrated that there are any 'eternal 
truths'. But perhaps such sceptics have been more frequent than one 
would innocently like to have true when one tries to bowl over 'scepticism' 
by formal dialectics. 

Thus with the question of the Being of truth and the necessity of pre- 
supposing it, just as with the question of the essence of knowledge, an 
'ideal subject' has generally been posited. The motive for this, whether 
explicit or tacit, lies in the requirement that philosophy should have the 
'a priori' as its theme, rather than 'empirical facts' as such. There is some 
justification for this requirement, though it still needs to be grounded 
ontologically. Yet is this requirement satisfied by positing an 'ideal 
subject' ? Is not such a subject a fanciful idealization! With such a concep- 
tion have we not missed precisely the a priori character of that merely 
'factual' subject, Dasein? Is it not an attribute of the a priori character of 
the factical subject (that is, an attribute of Dasein's facticity) that it is in 
the truth and in untruth equiprimordially ? 

The ideas of a 'pure "I" * and of a 'consciousness in general' are so far 
from including the a priori character of 'actual' subjectivity that the onto- 
logical characters of Dasein's facticity and its state of Being are either 
passed over or not seen at all. Rejection of a 'consciousness in general' 
does not signify that the a priori is negated, any more than the positing 
of an idealized subject guarantees that Dasein has an a priori character 
grounded upon fact. 

Both the contention that there are 'eternal truths' and the jumbling 
together of Dasein's phenomenally grounded 'ideality' with an idealized 
absolute subject, belong to those residues of Christian theology within 
philosophical problematics which have not as yet been radically 

The Being of truth is connected primordially with Dasein. And only 
because Dasein i s as constituted by disclosedness (that is, by under- 
standing), can anything like Being be understood; only so is it possible 
to understand Being. 

Being (not entities) is something which 'there is' only in so far as truth 
is. And truth is only in so far as and as long as Dasein is. Being and truth 
'are' equiprimordially. What does it signify that Being 'is', where Being 
is to be distinguished from every entity ? One can ask this concretely only 
if the meaning of Being and the full scope of the understanding of Being 
have in general been clarified. Only then can one also analyse primordially 
what belongs to the concept of a science of Being as such, and to its pos- 
sibilities and its variations. And in demarcating this research and its 

I. 6 Being and Time 273 

truth, the kind of research in which entities are uncovered, and its accom- 
panying truth, must be defined ontologically. 

The answer to the question of the meaning of Being has yet to be given 
[steht . . . aus]. What has our fundamental analysis of Dasein, as we have 
carried it out so far, contributed to working out this question? By laying 
bare the phenomenon of care, we have clarified the state of Being of that 
entity to whose Being something like an understanding of Being belongs. 
At the same time the Being of Dasein has thus been distinguished from 
modes of Being (readiness-to-hand, presence-at-hand, Reality) which 
characterize entities with a character other than that of Dasein. Under- 
standing has itself been elucidated ; and at the same time the method- 
ological transparency of the procedure of Interpreting Being by under- 
standing it and interpreting it, has thus been guaranteed. 

If in care we have arrived at Dasein's primordial state of Being, then 
this must also be the basis for conceptualizing that understanding of 
Being which lies in care; that is to say, it must be possible to define the 
meaning of Being. But is the phenomenon of care one in which the most 
primordial existential-ontological state of Dasein is disclosed ? And has 
the structural manifoldness which lies in this phenomenon, presented us 
with the most primordial totality of factical Dasein's Being? Has our 
investigation up to this point ever brought Dasein into view as a whole? 


1f 45. The Outcome of the Preparatory Fundamental Analysis of Dasein, and the 
Task of a Primordial Existential Interpretation of this Entity 
What have we gained by our preparatory analysis of Dasein, and what 
are we seeking? In Being-in-the-world, whose essential structures centre 
in disclosedness, we have found the basic state of the entity we have taken as 
our theme. The totality of Being-in-the-world as a structural whole has 
revealed itself as care. In care the Being of Dasein is included. When we 
came to analyse this Being, we took as our clue existence 1 , which, in anti- 
cipation, we had designated as the essence of Dasein. This term "exist- 
ence" formally indicates that Dasein is as an understanding potentiality- 
for-Being, which, in its Being, makes an issue of that Being itself. In every 
case, I myself am the entity which is in such a manner [dergestalt seiend]. 
By working out the phenomenon of care, we have given ourselves an insight 
into the concrete constitution of existence — that is, an insight into its 
equiprimordial connection with Dasein's facticity and its falling. 

What we are seeking is the answer to the question about the meaning of 
Being in general, and, prior to that, the possibility of working out in a 
radical manner this basic question of all ontology. But to lay bare the 
horizon within which something like Being in general becomes intelligible, 
is tantamount to clarifying the possibility of having any understanding of 
Being at all — an understanding which itself belongs to the constitution of 
the entity called Dasein. 11 The understanding of Being, however, cannot 
be radically clarified as an essential element in Dasein's Being, unless the 
entity to whose Being it belongs, has been Interpreted primordially in 
itself with regard to its Being. 

Are we entitled to the claim that in characterizing Dasein ontologically 

qua care we have given a primordial Interpretation of this entity? By what 

criterion is the existential analytic of Dasein to be assessed as regards its 

1 'Dasein und Zeitlichkeit'. In this heading and in others which follow in this Division, 
we have capitalized such words as 'temporal' and 'constitution* in accordance with normal 
practice in titles, even when this violates the orthographic conventions of our translation. 

II Being and Time 275 

primordiality, or the lack of it? What, indeed, do we mean by the 
"primordiality" of an ontological Interpretation? 

Ontological investigation is a possible kind of interpreting, which we 
have described as the working-out and appropriation of an under- 
standing. 111 Every interpretation has its fore-having, its fore-sight, and its 
fore-conception. If such an interpretation, as Interpretation, becomes an 
explicit task for research, then the totality of these 'presuppositions' 
(which we call the "hermeneutical Situation") needs to be clarified and made 
secure beforehand, both in a basic experience of the 'object' to be dis- 
closed, and in terms of such an experience. In ontological Interpretation 
an entity is to be laid bare with regard to its own state of Being; such an 
Interpretation obliges us first to give a phenomenal characterization of 
the entity we have taken as our theme, and thus to bring it into the scope 
of our fore-having, with which all the subsequent steps of our analysis are 
to conform. But at the same time these steps need to be guided by what- 
ever fore-sight is possible as to the kind of Being which the entity may 
possess. Our fore-having and our fore-sight will then give us at the same 
time a sketch of that way of conceiving (or fore-conception) to the level 
of which all structures of Being are to be raised. 

If, however, the ontological Interpretation is to be a primordial one, 
this not only demands that in general the hermeneutical Situation shall 
be one which has been made secure in conformity with the phenomena; 
it also requires explicit assurance that the whole of the entity which it has 
taken as its theme has been brought into the fore-having. Similarly, it 
is not enough just to make a first sketch of the Being of this entity, even if 
our sketch is grounded in the phenomena. If we are to have a fore-sight 
of Being, we must see it in such a way as not to miss the unity of those struc- 
tural items which belong to it and are possible. Only then can the question 
of the meaning of the unity which belongs to the whole entity's totality 
of Being, be formulated and answered with any phenomenal assurance. 

Has the existential analysis of Dasein which we have carried out, arisen 
from such a hermeneutical Situation as will guarantee the primordiality 
which fundamental ontology demands ? Can we progress from the result 
we have obtained — that the being of Dasein is care — to the question of the 
primordial unity of this structural whole ? 

What is the status of the fore-sight by which our ontological procedure 
has hitherto been guided? We have defined the idea of existence as 
a potentiality-for-Being — a potentiality which understands, and for which 
its own Being is an issue. But this potentiality-for-Being, as one which is in 
each case mine, is free either for authenticity or for inauthenticity or for 
a mode in which neither of these has been differentiated.^ In starting with 

276 Being and Time II 

average everydayness, our Interpretation has heretofore been confined to 
the analysis of such existing as is either undifferentiated or inauthentic. 
Of course even along this path, it was possible and indeed necessary to 
reach a concrete determination of the existentiality of existence. Never- 
theless, our ontological characterization of the constitution of existence 
still lacked something essential. "Existence" means a potentiality-for-Being 
— but also one which is authentic. As long as the existential structure 
of an authentic potentiahty-for-^eing has not been brought into the 
idea of existence, the fore-sight by which an existential Interpretation is 
guided will lack primordiality. 

And how about what we have had in advance in our hermeneutical 
Situation hitherto? How about its fore-having? When and how has our 
existential analysis received any assurance that by starting with everyday- 
ness, it has forced the whole of Dasein— this entity from its 'beginning' to 
its 'end' — into the phenomenological view which gives us our theme? 
We have indeed contended that care is the totality of the structural whole 
of Dasein's constitution^ But have we not at the very outset of our Inter- 
pretation renounced the possibility of bringing Dasein into view as a whole ? 
Everydayness is precisely that Being which is 'between' birth and death. 
And if existence is definitive for Dasein's Being and if its essence is con- 
stituted in part by potentiality-for-Being, then, as long as Dasein exists, 
it must in each case, as such a potentiality, not yet be something. Any entity 
whose Essence is made up of existence, is essentially opposed to the 
possibility of our getting it in our grasp as an entity which is a 
whole. Not only has the hermeneutical Situation hitherto given us no 
assurance of 'having 5 the whole entity: one may even question whether 
"having" the whole entity is attainable at all, and whether a primordial 
ontological Interpretation of Dasein will not founder on the kind of Being 
which belongs to the very entity we have taken as our theme. 

One thing has become unmistakable: our existential analysis of Dasein up 
till now cannot lay claim to primordiality. Its fore-having never included more 
than the inauthentic Being of Dasein, and of Dasein as less than a whole 
[als unganzes]. If the Interpretation of Dasein's Being is to become prim- 
ordial, as a foundation for working out the basic question of ontology, 
then it must first have brought to light existentially the Being of Dasein 
in its possibilities of authenticity and totality. 

Thus arises the task of putting Dasein as a whole into our fore-having. 
This signifies, however, that we must first of all raise the question of this 
entity's potentiality-for-Being-a-whole. As long as Dasein is, there is in 
every case something still outstanding, which Dasein can be and will be. 
But to that which is thus outstanding, the 'end' itself belongs. The 'end' 

II Being and Time tfjj 

of Being-in-the-world is death. This end, which belongs to the potent- 
iality-for-Being — that is to say, to existence; — limits and determines in 
every case whatever totality is possible for Dasein. If, however, Dasein's 
Being-at-an-end 1 in death, and therewith its Being-a-whole, are to be 
included in the discussion of its possibly Being-a-whole ', and if this is to be 
done in a way which is appropriate to the phenomena, then we must have 
obtained an ontologically adequate conception of death — that is to say 
an existential conception of it. But as something of the character of Dasein, 
death is only in an existentiell Being towards death [Sein zum Tode]. The 
existential structure of such Being proves to be the ontologically constitu- 
tive state of Dasein's potentiality-for-Being-a-whole. Thus the whole 
existing Dasein allows itself to be brought into our existential fore-having. 
But can Dasein also exist authentically as a whole ? How is the authenticity 
of existence to be determined at all, if not with regard to authentic 
existing? Where do we get our criterion for this? Manifestly, Dasein 
itself must, in its Being, present us with the possibility and the manner of 
its authentic existence, unless such existence is something that can be 
imposed upon it ontically, or ontologically fabricated. But an authentic 
potentiality-for-Being is attested by the conscience. And conscience, as a 
phenomenon of Dasein, demands, like death, a genuinely existential 
Interpretation. Such an Interpretation leads to the insight that Dasein has 
an authentic potentiality-for-Being in that it wants to have a conscience. But 
this is an existentiell possibility which tends, from the very meaning of its 
Being, to be made definite in an existentiell way by Being-towards-death. 

By pointing out that Dasein has an authentic potentiality-for-Being-a-whole , 
the existential analytic acquires assurance as to the constitution of Dasein's 
primordial Being. But at the same time the authentic potentiality-for-Being- 
a-whole becomes visible as a mode of care. And therewith the pheno- 
menally adequate ground for a primordial Interpretation of the meaning 
of Dasein's Being has also been assured. 

But the primordial ontological basis for Dasein's existentiality is tem- 
porality. In terms of temporality, the articulated structural totality of 
Dasein's Being as care first becomes existentially intelligible. The Inter- 
pretation of the meaning of Dasein's Being cannot stop with this demon- 
stration. The existential-temporal analysis of this entity needs to be 
confirmed concretely. We must go back and lay bare in their temporal 
meaning the ontological structures of Dasein which we have previously 
obtained. Everydayness reveals itself as a mode of temporality. But by 
thus recapitulating our preparatory fundamental analysis of Dasein, we 

1 *Zu-Ende-sein\ This expression is to be distinguished from 'Sein-zum-Ende', which 
we shall translate as 'Being-towards-the-end*. 

278 Being and Time II 

will at the same time make the phenomenon of temporality itself more 
transparent. In terms of temporality, it then becomes intelligible why 
Dasein is, and can be, historical in the basis of its Being, and why, as 
historical, it can develop historiology. 

If temporality makes up the primordial meaning of Dasein's Being, 
and if moreover this entity is one for which, in its Being, this very Being is 
an issue, then care must use 'time' and therefore must reckon with 'time'. 
'Time-reckoning' is developed by Dasein's temporality. The 'time' which 
is experienced in such reckoning is that phenomenal aspect of temporality 
which is closest to us. Out of it arises the ordinary everyday understanding 
of time. And this understanding evolves into the traditional conception 
of time. 

By casting light on the source of the 'time' 'in which' entities within- 
the-world are encountered — time as "within-time-ness" — we shall make 
manifest an essential possibility of the temporalizing of temporality. 1 
Therewith the understanding prepares itself for an even more primordial 
temporalizing of temporality. In this 2 is grounded that understanding of 
Being which is constitutive for the Being of Dasein. Within the horizon 
of time the projection of a meaning of Being in general can be accom- 

Thus the investigation comprised in the division which lies before us 
will now traverse the following stages: Dasein's possibility of Being-a- 
whole, and Being-towards-death (Chapter 1); Dasein's attestation of an 
authentic potentiality-for-Being, and resoluteness (Chapter 2); Dasein's 
authentic potentiality-for-Being-a-whole, and temporality as the onto- 
logical meaning of care (Chapter 3); temporality and everydayness 
(Chapter 4); temporality and historically (Chapter 5); temporality 
and within-time-ness as the source of the ordinary conception of time 
(Chapter 6). v * 

1 *Die Aufhellung des Ursprungs der "Zeit", "in der" innerweltliches Seiendes begeg- 
net, der Zeit als Innerzeitigkeit, offenbart cine wesenhafte Zeitigungsmoglichkeit der 
ZeitUchkeit.' On 'zeitigen' see H. 304 below. 

8 'In ihr . . It is not clear whether the pronoun 'ihr' refers to 'Zeitigung* ('tem- 
poralizing') or 'ZeitUchkeit' ('temporality'). 



46, The Seeming Impossibility of Getting Dasein's Being-a-whole into our Grasp 
Ontologically and Determining its Character 

The inadequacy of the hermeneutical Situation from which the preceding 
analysis of Dasein has arisen, must be surmounted. It is necessary for us 236 
to bring the whole Dasein into our fore-having. We must accordingly ask 
whether this entity, as something existing, can ever become accessible in 
its Being-a-whole. In Dasein's very state of Being, there are important 
reasons which seem to speak against the possibility of having it presented 
[Vorgabe] in the manner required. 

The possibility of this entity's Being-a-whole is manifestly inconsistent 
with the ontological meaning of care, and care is that which forms the 
totality of Dasein's structural whole. Yet the primary item in care is 
the 'ahead-of-itself, and this means that in every case Dasein exists for the 
sake of itself. 'As long as it is', right to its end, it comports itself towards its 
potentiality-for-Being. Even when it still exists but has nothing more 
'before it' and has 'settled [abgeschlossen] its account', its Being is still 
determined by the 'ahead-of-itself. Hopelessness, for instance, does not 
tear Dasein away from its possibilities, but is only one of its own modes of 
Being towards these possibilities. Even when one is without Illusions and 
'is ready for anything' ["Gefasstsein auf Alles"], here too the 'ahead-of- 
itself lies hidden. The 'ahead-of-itself, as an item in the structure of care, 
tells us unambiguously that in Dasein there is always something still 
outstanding, 1 which, as a potentiality-for-Being for Dasein itself, has not 
yet become 'actual'. It is essential to the basic constitution of Dasein that 
there is constantly something still to be settled [eine stdndige Unabgeschlossenheit]. 
Such a lack of totality signifies that there is something still outstanding in 
one's potentiality-for-Being. 

1 '. . . im Dasein immer noch etwas aussteht . . .' The verb 'ausstehen' and the noun 
'Ausstand' (which we usually translate as 'something still outstanding', etc.), are ordin- 
arily used in German to apply to a debt or a bank deposit which, from the point of view 
of the lender or depositor, has yet to be repaid to him, liquidated, or withdrawn. 

280 Being and Time H. i 

But as soon as Dascin 'exists' in such a way that absolutely nothing 
more is still outstanding in it, then it has already for this very reason 
become "no-longer-Being-there" [Nicht-mehr-da-sein]. Its Being is 
annihilated when what is still outstanding in its Being has been liquidated. 
As long as Dasein is as an entity, it has never reached its 'wholeness*. 1 
But if it gains such 'wholeness', this gain becomes the utter loss of Being- 
in-the-world. In such a case, it can never again be experienced as an entity. 

The reason for the impossibility of experiencing Dasein ontically as a 
whole which is [als seiendes Ganzes], and therefore of determining its 
character ontologically in its Being-a-whole, does not lie in any imperfec- 
tion of our cognitive powers. The hindrance lies rather in the Being of this 
entity. That which cannot ever be such as any experience which pretends 
to get Dasein in its grasp would claim, eludes in principle any possibility 
of getting experienced at all. 2 But in that case is it not a hopeless under- 
taking to try to discern in Dasein its ontological totality of Being? 

We cannot cross out the 'ahead-of-itself ' as an essential item in the 
structure of care. But how sound are the conclusions which we have drawn 
from this? Has not the impossibility of getting the whole of Dasein into 
our grasp been inferred by an argument which is merely formal? Or have 
we not at bottom inadvertently posited that Dasein is something present- 
at-hand, ahead of which something that is not yet present-at-hand is 
constantly shoving itself? Have we, in our argument, taken "Being-not- 
yet" and the 'ahead' in a sense that is genuinely existential? Has our talk 
of the 'end' and 'totality' been phenomenally appropriate to Dasein? 
Has the expression 'death' had a biological signification or one that is 
existential-ontological, or indeed any signification that has been ade- 
quately and surely delimited? Have we indeed exhausted all the possibili- 
ties for making Dasein accessible in its wholeness? 

We must answer these questions before the problem of Dasein's totality 
can be dismissed as nugatory [nichtiges]. This question— both the exis- 
tentiell question of whether a potentiality-for-Being-a-whole is possible, 
and the existential question of the state-of-Being of 'end* and 'totality'— 
is one in which there lurks the task of giving a positive analysis for some 
phenomena of existence which up till now have been left aside. In the 
centre of these considerations we have the task of characterizing ontologic- 
ally Dasein's Being-at-an-end and of achieving an existential conception 

n« <1Die i B | h - bU r g Seinsausstandes besagt Vernichtung seines Seins. Solanee das 
Dasein als Seiendes ist, hat es seine "Ganze" nie erreicht.' The verb 'beheben' is used 
bJw C T^ S n5 «r ing T e \ ac count or liquidating it by withdrawing money from the 
fr™ K ST* * Wh,cl ? WC n Sh ? U translate 33 Wholeness', is to be distinguished 

2 m *A? anZC ( W H le ' or oc cas^ally 'totality') and 'Ganzheit' ('totality') 

Was so gar nicht erst sein kann, wie ein Erfahren das Dasein zu erfassen pratendiert 
entzieht sich grundsatzlich einer Erfahrbarkeit.' cnassen pratenaiert, 

II. I Being and Time 281 

of death. The investigations relating to these topics are divided up 
as follows: the possibility of experiencing the death of Others, and the 
possibility of getting a whole Dasein into our grasp (Section 47) ; that 
which is still outstanding, the end, and totality (Section 48) ; how the 
existential analysis of death is distinguished from other possible Interpre- 
tations of this phenomenon (Section 49) ; a preliminary sketch of the 
existential-ontological structure of death (Section 50); Being-towards- 
death and the everydayness of Dasein (Section 51); everyday Being- 
towards-death, and the full existential conception of death (Section 52) ; 
an existential projection of an authentic Being-towards-death (Section 53). 

1f 47. The Possibility of Experiencing the Death of Others, and the Possibility of 
Getting a Whole Dasein into our Grasp 

When Dasein reaches its wholeness in death, it simultaneously loses the 
Being of its "there". By its transition to no-longer-Dasein [Nichtmehr- 
dasein], it gets lifted right out of the possibility of experiencing this 
transition and of understanding it as something experienced. Surely this 
sort of thing is denied to any particular Dasein in relation to itself But 
this makes the death of Others more impressive. In this way a termination 
[Beendigung] of Dasein becomes 'Objectively' accessible. Dasein can 
thus gain an experience of death, all the more so because Dasein is essen- 
tially Being with Others. In that case, the fact that death has been thus 
'Objectively' given must make possible an ontological delimitation of 
Dasein's totality. 

Thus from the kind of Being which Dasein possesses as Being with one 
another, we might draw the fairly obvious information that when the Dasein 
of Others has come to an end, it might be chosen as a substitute theme for 
our analysis of Dasein's totality. But does this lead us to our appointed 

Even the Dasein of Others, when it has reached its wholeness in death, 
is no-longer-Dasein, in the sense of Being-no-longer-in-the-world. Does 
not dying mean going-out-of-the-world, and losing one's Being-in-the- 
world ? Yet when someone has died, his Being-no-longer-in-the-world (if 
we understand it in an extreme way) is still a Being, but in the sense of the 
Being-just-present-at-hand-and-no-more of a corporeal Thing which we 
encounter. In the dying of the Other we can experience that remarkable 
phenomenon of Being which may be defined as the change-over of an 
entity from Dasein's kind of Being (or life) to no-longer-Dasein. The end 
of the entity qua Dasein is the beginning of the same entity qua something 

However, in this way of Interpreting the change-over from Dasein to 

282 Being and Time n, 1 

Being-just-present-at-hand-and-no-more, the phenomenal content is 
missed, inasmuch as in the entity which still remains we are not presented 
with a mere corporeal Thing. From a theoretical point of view, even the 
corpse which is present-at-hand is still a possible object for the student of 
pathological anatomy, whose understanding tends to be oriented to the 
idea of life. This something which is just-present-at-hand-and-no-more is 
'more' than a lifeless material Thing. In it we encounter something 
unalive, which has lost its life. 1 

But even this way of characterizing that which still remains [des Noch- 
verbleibenden] does not exhaust the full phenomenal findings with regard 
to Dasein. 

The 'deceased' [Der "Verstorbene"] as distinct from the dead person 
[dem Gestorbenen], has been torn away from those who have 'remained 
behind' [den "Hinterbliebenen"], and is an object of 'concern' in the 
ways of funeral rites, interment, and the cult of graves. And that is so 
because the deceased, in his kind of Being, is 'still more' than just an item 
of equipment, environmentally ready-to-hand, about which one can be 
concerned. In tarrying alongside him in their mourning and commemora- 
tion, those who have remained behind are witk t him, in a mode of respectful 
solicitude. Thus the relationship-of-Being which one has towards the dead 
is not to be taken as a concernful Being-alongside something ready-to-hand. 

In such Being-with the dead [dem Toten], the deceased himself is no 
longer factically 'there'. However, when we speak of "Being-with", we 
always have in view Being with one another in the same world. The 
deceased has abandoned our 'world' and left it behind. But in terms of 
that world [Aus ihr her] those who remain can still be with him. 

The greater the phenomenal appropriateness with which we take the 
no-longer-Dasein of the deceased, the more plainly is it shown that in 
such Being-with the dead, the authentic Being-come-to-an-end [Zuen- 
degekommensein] of the deceased is precisely the sort of thing which we 
do not experience. Death does indeed reveal itself as a loss, but a loss such 
as is experienced by those who remain. In suffering this loss, however, 
we have no way of access to the loss-of-Being as such which the dying 
man 'suffers'. The dying of Others is not something which we experience 
in a genuine sense; at most we are always just 'there alongside'. 2 

And even if, by thus Being there alongside, it were possible and feasible 

1 'Das Nur-noch-Vorhandene ist "mehr" als ein lebloses materielles Ding. Mit ihm 
begegnet ein des Lebens verlustig gegangenes Unlebendiges.' 

2 . . sind . . . "dabei'V Literally the verb 'dabeisein' means simply 'to be at that 
place , 'to be there alongside'; but it also has other connotations which give an ironical 
touch to this passage, for it may also mean, 'to be engaged in' some activity, 'to be at it', 
to be in the swim', 'to be ready to be "counted in" \ 

II. 1 Being and Time 283 

for us to make plain to ourselves 'psychologically' the dying of Others, 
this would by no means let us grasp the way-to-be which we would then 
have in mind — namely, coming-to-an-end. We are asking about the 
ontological meaning of the dying of the person who dies, as a possibility- 
of-Being which belongs to his Being. We are not asking about the way in 
which the deceased has Dasein-with or is still-a-Dasein [Nochdaseins] 
with those who are left behind. If death as experienced in Others is what 
we are enjoined to take as the theme for our analysis of Dasein's end and 
totality, this cannot give us, either ontically or ontologically, what it 
presumes to give. 

But above all, the suggestion that the dying of Others is a substitute 
theme for the ontological analysis of Dasein's totality and the settling of 
its account, rests on a presupposition which demonstrably fails altogether 1 
to recognize Dasein's kind of Being. This is what one presupposes when 
one is of the opinion that any Dasein may be substituted for another at 
random, so that what cannot be experienced in one's own Dasein is 
accessible in that of a stranger. But is this presupposition actually so 
baseless ? 

Indisputably, the fact that one Dasein can be represented 2 by another 
belongs to its possibilities of Being in Being-with-one-another in the world. 
In everyday concern, constant and manifold use is made of such represent- 
ability. Whenever we go anywhere or have anything to contribute, we can 
be represented by someone within the range of that 'environment' with 
which we are most closely concerned. The great multiplicity of ways of 
Being-in-the-world in which one person can be represented by another, 
not only extends to the more refined modes of publicly being with one 
anpther, but is likewise germane to those possibilities of concern which 
are restricted within definite ranges, and which are cut to the measure of 
one's occupation, one's social status, or one's age. But the very meaning 
of such representation is such that it is always a representation 'in' ["in" 
und "bei"] something — that is to say, in concerning oneself with something. 
But proximally and for the most part everyday Dasein understands itself 
in terms of that with which it is customarily concerned. 'One is 9 what one 
does. In relation to this sort of Being (the everyday manner in which we 
join with one another in absorption in the 'world' of our concern) 
representability is not only quite possible but is even constitutive for our 

1 *. . . eine vollige Verkennung . . /The older editions have 'totale' rather than 

2 'Vertretbarkeit'. The verb 'vertreten' means 'to represent' in the sense of 'deputizing' 
for someone. It should be noted that the verb 'vorstellen' is also sometimes translated as 
*to represent', but in the quite different sense of 'affording a "representation" or "idea" 
of something'. 

284 Being and Time II. 1 

240 being with one another. Here one Dasein can and must, within certain 
limits, 'be* another Dasein. 

However, this possibility of representing breaks down completely if the 
issue is one of representing that possibility-of-Being which makes up 
Dasein's coming to an end, and which, as such, gives to it its wholeness. 
No one can take the Other's dying away from him. Of course someone can 'go to 
his death for another'. But that always means to sacrifice oneself for the 
Other 'in some definite affair 9 . Such "dying for" can never signify that the 
Other has thus had his death taken away in even the slightest degree. 
Dying is something that every Dasein itself must take upon itself at the 
time. By its very essence, death is in every case mine, in so far as it 'is' at 
all. And indeed death signifies a peculiar possibility-of-Being in which 
the very Being of one's own Dasein is an issue. In dying, it is shown that 
mineness and existence are ontologically constitutive for death. 1 Dying is 
not an event; it is a phenomenon to be understood existentially; and it is 
to be understood in a distinctive sense which must be still more closely 

But if 'ending', as dying, is constitutive for Dasein's totality, then the 
Being of this wholeness itself must be conceived as an existential pheno- 
menon of a Dasein which is in each case one's own. In 'ending', and in 
Dasein's Being-a-whole, for which such ending is constitutive, there is, 
by its very essence, no representing. These are the facts of the case exist- 
entially; one fails to recognize this when one interposes the expedient of 
making the dying of Others a substitute theme for the analysis of totality. 

So once again the attempt to make Dasein's Being-a-whole accessible 
in a way that is appropriate to the phenomena, has broken down. But our 
deliberations have not been negative in their outcome; they have been 
oriented by the phenomena, even if only rather roughly. We have 
indicated that death is an existential phenomenon. Our investigation is 
thus forced into a purely existential orientation to the Dasein which is in 
every case one's own. The only remaining possibility for the analysis of 
death as dying, is either to form a purely existential conception of this 
phenomenon, or else to forgo any ontological understanding of it 

When we characterized the transition from Dasein to no-longer- 
Dasein as Being-no-longer-in-the-world, we showed further that Dasein's 
going-out-of-the-world in the sense of dying must be distinguished from 
the going-out-of-the-world of that which merely has life [des Nur-leben- 
den]. In our terminology the ending of anything that is alive, is denoted 
241 as "perishing" [Verenden]. We can see the difference only if the kind 
of ending which Dasein can have is distinguished from the end of a life. 11 
Of course "dying" may also be taken physiologically and biologically. 

II. 1 Being and Time 285 

But the medical concept of the 'exitus* does not coincide with that of 

From the foregoing discussion of the ontological possibility of getting 
death into our grasp, it becomes clear at the same time that substructures 
of entities with another kind of Being (presence-at-hand or life) thrust 
themselves to the fore unnoticed, and threaten to bring confusion to the 
Interpretation of this phenomenon — even to the first suitable way of 
presenting it. We can encounter this phenomenon only by seeking, for our 
further analysis, an ontologically adequate way of defining the phenomena 
which are constitutive for it, such as "end" and "totality". 

% 48. That which is Still Outstanding; the End; Totality 

Within the framework of this investigation, our ontological character- 
ization of the end and totality can be only provisional. To perform this 
task adequately, we must not only set forth the formal structure of end in 
general and of totality in general; we must likewise disentangle the struc- 
tural variations which are possible for them in different realms — that is to 
say, deformalized variations which have been put into relationship respec- 
tively with definite kinds of entities as 'subject-matter', and which have 
had their character Determined in terms of the Being of these entities. 
This task, in turn, presupposes that a sufficiently unequivocal and positive 
Interpretation shall have been given for the kinds of Being which require 
that the aggregate of entities be divided into such realms. But if we are 
to understand these ways of Being, we need a clarified idea of Being in 
general. The task of carrying out in an appropriate way the ontological 
analysis of end and totality breaks down not only because the theme is so 
far-reaching, but because there is a difficulty in principle : to master this 
task successfully, we must presuppose that precisely what we are seeking 
in this investigation — the meaning of Being in general — is something 
which we have found already and with which we are quite familiar. 

In the following considerations, the 'variations' in which we are chiefly 
interested are those of end and totality; these are ways in which Dasein 
gets a definite character ontologically, and as such they should lead to a 
primordial Interpretation of this entity. Keeping constantly in view the 
existential constitution of Dasein already set forth, we must try to decide 
how inappropriate to Dasein ontologically are those conceptions of end 
and totality which first thrust themselves to the fore, no matter how 
categorially indefinite they may remain. The rejection [Zuriickweisung] 
of such concepts must be developed into a positive assignment [£uweisung] 
of them to their specific realms. In this way our understanding of end and 
totality in their variant forms as existentialia will be strengthened, and this 

286 Being and Time II. i 

will guarantee the possibility of an ontological Interpretation of death. 

But even if the analysis of Dasein's end and totality takes on so broad 
an orientation, this cannot mean that the existential concepts of end and 
totality are to be obtained by way of a deduction. On the contrary, the 
existential meaning of Dasein's coming-to-an-end must be taken from 
Dasein itself, and we must show how such 'ending' can constitute Being- 
a-whole for the entity which exists. 

We may formulate in three theses the discussion of death up to this 
point: i. there belongs to Dasein, as long as it is, a "not-yet" which it 
will be — that which is constantly still outstanding; 2. the coming-to-its-end 
of what-is-not-yet-at-an-end (in which what is still outstanding is liquid- 
ated as regards its Being) has the character of no-longer-Dasein; 3. coming- 
to-an-end implies a mode of Being in which the particular Dasein simply 
cannot be represented by someone else. 

In Dasein there is undeniably a constant 'lack of totality' which finds 
an end with death. This "not-yet" 'belongs' to Dasein as long as it is; 
this is how things stand phenomenally. Is this to be Interpreted as still 
outstanding? 1 With relation to what entities do we talk about that which 
is still outstanding? When we use this expression we have in view that 
which indeed 'belongs' to an entity, but is still missing. Outstanding, as a 
way of being missing, is grounded upon a belonging-to. 2 For instance, the 
remainder yet to be received when a debt is to be balanced off, is still 
outstanding. That which is still outstanding is not yet at one's disposal. 
When the 'debt' gets paid off, that which is still outstanding gets liquid- 
ated; this signifies that the money 'comes in', or, in other words, that the 
remainder comes successively along. By this procedure the "not-yet" gets 
filled up, as it were, until the sum that is owed is "all together". 3 There- 
fore, to be still outstanding means that what belongs together is not yet 
all together. Ontologically, this implies the un-readiness-to-hand of those 
portions which have yet to be contributed. These portions have the same 
kind of Being as those which are ready-to-hand already; and the latter, 
for their part, do not have their kind of Being modified by having the 
remainder come in. Whatever "lack-of-togetherness" remains [Das beste- 
hende Unzusammen] gets "paid off' by a cumulative piecing-together. 
Entities for which anything is still outstanding have the kind of Being of something 

1 'Aber darf der phanomenale Tatbcstand, dass zum Dasein, solange es ist, dieses 
Noch-nicht "gehort", als Ausstand interpretiert werden ?' The contrast between 'Tatbest- 
and' and Ausstand* is perhaps intentional. 

2 Ausstehen als Fehlen griindet in einer Zugehorigkeit.' 

8 'Tilgung der "Schuld" als Behebung des Ausstandes bedeutet das "Eingehen", das 
ist Nacheinanderankommen des Restes, wodurch das Noch-nicht gleichsam aufgefullt 
wird, bis die geschuldete Summe "beisammen" ist.* On 'Schuld* see note 1, p. 325, 
H. 280. 

II. i Being and Time 287 

ready-to-hand. The togetherness [Das Zusammen] is characterized as a 
"sum", and so is that lack-of-togetherness which is founded upon it. 

But this lack-of-togetherness which belongs to such a mode of together- 
ness — this being-missing as still-outstanding — cannot by any means define 
ontologically that "not-yet" which belongs to Dasein as its possible death. 
Dasein does not have at all the kind of Being of something ready-to-hand- 
within-the-world. The togetherness of an entity of the kind which Dasein 
is 'in running its course' until that 'course' has been completed, is not 
constituted by a 'continuing' piecing-on of entities which, somehow and 
somewhere, are ready-to-hand already in their own right. 1 

That Dasein should be together only when its "not-yet" has been filled 
up is so far from the case that it is precisely then that Dasein is no longer. 
Any Dasein always exists in just such a manner that its "not-yet" belongs 
to it. But are there not entities which are as they are and to which a 
"not-yet" can belong, but which do not necessarily have Dasein's kind 
of Being ? 

For instance, we can say, "The last quarter is still outstanding until 
the moon gets full". The "not-yet" diminishes as the concealing shadow 
disappears. But here the moon is always present-at-hand as a whole 
already. Leaving aside the fact that we can never get the moon wholly in 
our grasp even when it is full, this "not-yet" does not in any way signify 
a not-yet-itartg-together of the parts which belongs to the moon, but 
pertains only to the way we get it in our grasp perceptually. The "not-yet" 
which belongs to Dasein, however, is not just something which is pro- 
visionally and occasionally inaccessible to one's own experience or even 
to that of a stranger; it 'is' not yet 'actual' at all. Our problem does not 
pertain to getting into our grasp the "not-yet' which is of the character of 
Dasein; it pertains to the possible Being or not-Being of this "not-yet". 
Dasein must, as itself, become — that is to say, be — what it is not yet. Thus 
if we are to be able, by comparison, to define that Being of the "not-yet" 
which is of the character of Dasein, we must take into consideration entities 
to whose kind of Being becoming belongs. 

When, for instance, a fruit is unripe, it "goes towards" its ripeness. 
In this process of ripening, that which the fruit is not yet, is by no means 
pieced on as something not yet present-at-hand. The fruit brings itself to 
ripeness, and such a bringing of itself is a characteristic of its Being as a 
fruit. Nothing imaginable which one might contribute to it, would elimi- 
nate the unripeness of the fruit, if this entity did not come to ripeness of its 

1 Throughout this sentence Heidegger uses words derived from the verb 'laufen', 'to 
run'. Thus, 'in running its course* represents 'in seinem Verlauf 1 "its course" has been 
completed* represents 'es "seinem Lauf" vollendet hat'; 'continuing' represents 'fort- 

288 Being and Time II. i 

own accord. When we speak of the "not-yet" of the unripeness, we do not 
have in view something else which stands outside [aussenstehendes], and 
which — with utter indifference to the fruit — might be present-at-hand in 
it and with it. What we have in view is the fruit itself in its specific kind 
of Being. The sum which is not yet complete is, as something ready-to- 
hand, 'a matter of indifference' as regards the remainder which is lacking 
and un-ready-to-hand, though, taken strictly, it can neither be indifferent 
to that remainder nor not be indifferent to it. 1 The ripening fruit, how- 
ever, not only is not indifferent to its unripeness as something other than 
itself, but it is that unripeness as it ripens. The "not-yet" has already been 
included in the very Being of the fruit, not as some random characteristic, 
but as something constitutive. Correspondingly, as long as any Dasein is, 
it too is already its "not-yet" . iU 

That which makes up the 'lack of totality' in Dasein, the constant 
"ahead-of-itself", is neither something still outstanding in a summative 
togetherness, nor something which has not yet become accessible. It is a 
1 'not-yet" which any Dasein, as the entity which it is, has to be. Never- 
theless, the comparison with the unripeness of the fruit shows essential 
differences, although there is a certain agreement. If we take note of these 
differences, we shall recognize how indefinite our talk about the end and 
ending has hitherto been. 

Ripening is the specific Being of the fruit. It is also a kind of Being of the 
"not-yet" (of unripeness) ; and, as such a kind of Being, it is formally 
analogous to Dasein, in that the latter, like the former, is in every case 
already its "not-yet" in a sense still to be defined. But even then, this does 
not signify that ripeness as an 'end' and death as an 'end' coincide with 
regard to their ontological structure as ends. With ripeness, the fruit 
fulfils itself. 2 But is the death at which Dasein arrives, a fulfilment in this 
sense? With its death, Dasein has indeed 'fulfilled its course'. But in doing 
so, has it necessarily exhausted its specific possibilities? Rather, are not 
these precisely what gets taken away from Dasein? Even 'unfulfilled' 
Dasein ends. On the other hand, so little is it the case that Dasein comes 
to its ripeness only with death, that Dasein may well have passed its 
ripeness before the end. 3 For the most part, Dasein ends in unfulfilment, 
or else by having disintegrated and been used up. 

1 'Die noch nicht voile Summe ist als Zuhandenes gegen den fehlenden unzuhandenen 
Rest "gleichgultig". Streng genommen kann sie weder ungleichgiiltig, noch gleichgultig 
dagegen sein.' 

2 'Mit der Reife vollendet sich die Frucht.' Notice that the verb Vollenden', which we 
here translate as 'fulfil', involves the verb 'enden' ('to end'). While Vollenden' may mean 
'to bring fully to an end' or 'to terminate', it may also mean 'to complete' or 'to perfect'. 

3 While we have translated *RehV by its cognate 'ripeness', this word applies generally 
to almost any kind of maturity, even that of Dasein — not merely the maturity of fruits 
and vegetables. 

II. I Being and Time 289 

Ending does not necessarily mean fulfilling oneself. It thus becomes 
more urgent to ask in what sense, if any, death must be conceived as the ending 
of Dasein, 

In the first instance, "ending" signifies "stopping", and it signifies this 
in senses which are ontologically different. The rain stops. It is no longer 
present-at-hand. The road stops. Such an ending does not make the road 
disappear, but such a stopping is determinative for the road as this one, 
which is present-at-hand. Hence ending, as stopping, can signify either 
"passing over into non-presence-at-hand" or else "Being-present-at-hand 
only when the end comes". The latter kind of ending, in turn, may either 
be determinative for something which is present-at-hand in an unfinished 
way, as a road breaks off when one finds it under construction; or it may 
rather constitute the 'finishedness" of something present-at-hand, as the 
painting is finished with the last stroke of the brush. 

But ending as "getting finished" does not include fulfilling. On the 
other hand, whatever has got to be fulfilled must indeed reach the finished- 
ness that is possible for it. Fulfilling is a mode of 'finishedness', and is 
founded upon it. Finishedness is itself possible only as a determinate form 
of something present-at-hand or ready-to-hand. 

Even ending in the sense of "disappearing" can still have its modifica- 
tions according to the kind of Being which an entity may have. The rain 
is at an end — that is to say it has disappeared. The bread is at an end — 
that is to say, it has been used up and is no longer available as something 
ready- to-hand. 

By none of these modes of ending can death be suitably characterized as the "end" 
of Dasein. If dying, as Being-at-an-end, were understood in the sense of an 
ending of the kind we have discussed, then Dasein would thereby be 
treated as something present-at-hand or ready-to-hand. In death, Dasein 
has not been fulfilled nor has it simply disappeared; it has not become 
finished nor is it wholly at one's disposal as something ready-to-hand. 

On the contrary, just as Dasein is already its "not-yet", and is its 
"not-yet" constantly as long as it is, it is already its end too. The "ending" 
which we have in view when we speak of death, does not signify Dasein's 
Being-at-an-end [Zu-Ende-sein], but a Being-towards-the-end [Sein zum 
Ende] of this entity. Death is a way to be, which Dasein takes over as soon 
as it is. "As soon as man comes to life, he is at once old enough to die.' iv 

Ending, as Being-towards-the-end, must be clarified ontologically in 
terms of Dasein's kind of Being. And presumably the possibility of an 
existent Being of that "not-yet" which lies 'before' the 'end', 1 will become 

1 *. . . die Moglichkeit eines existierenden Seins des Noch-nicht, das "vor" dem "Ende" 
liegt . . The earlier editions have '. . . das ja "vor" dem "Ende" . . 

ago Being and Time II. i 

intelligible only if the character of ending has been determined exist- 
entially. The existential clarification of Being-towards-the-end will also 
give us for the first time an adequate basis for defining what can possibly 
be the meaning of our talk about a totality of Dasein, if indeed this totality 
is to be constituted by death as the 'end'. 

Our attempt to understand Dasein's totality by taking as our point 
of departure a clarification of the "not-yet" and going on to a character- 
ization of "ending", has not led us to our goal. It has shown only in a 
negative way that the "not-yet" which Dasein in every case is, resists 
Interpretation as something still outstanding. The end towards which 
Dasein is as existing, remains inappropriately defined by the notion of a 
"Being-at-an-end". These considerations, however, should at the same 
time make it plain that they must be turned back in their course. A posi- 
tive characterization of the phenomena in question (Being-not-yet, 
ending, totality) succeeds only when it is unequivocally oriented to Dasein's 
state of Being. But if we have any insight into the realms where those end- 
structures and totality-structures which are to be construed ontologically 
with Dasein belong, this will, in a negative way, make this unequivocal 
character secure against wrong turnings. 

If we are to carry out a positive Interpretation of death and its character 
as an end, by way of existential analysis, we must take as our clue the 
basic state of Dasein at which we have already arrived — the phenomenon 
of care. 

f 49. How the Existential Analysis of Death is Distinguished from Other Possible 
Interpretations of this Phenomenon 

The unequivocal character of our ontological Interpretation of death 
must first be strengthened by our bringing explicitly to mind what such 
an Interpretation can not inquire about, and what it would be vain to 
expect it to give us any information or instructions about. 1 

Death, in the widest sense, is a phenomenon of life. Life must be under- 
stood as a kind of Being to which there belongs a Being-in-the- world. 
Only if this kind of Being is oriented in a privative way to Dasein, can 
we fix its character ontologically. Even Dasein may be considered purely 
as life. When the question is formulated from the viewpoint of biology and 
physiology, Dasein moves into that domain of Being which we know as the 
world of animals and plants. In this field, we can obtain data and statistics 
about the longevity of plants, animals and men, and we do this by ascer- 
taining them ontically. Connections between longevity, propagation, and 

1 '. . . wonach dicse nicht fragen, und woriiber eine Auskunft und Anweisung von ihr 
vergeblich erwartet werden kann.' The older editions have *kann* after 'fragen', and 
'muss' where the newer editions have *kann\ 

II. i Being and Time 291 

growth may be recognized. The 'kinds' of death, the causes, 'contrivances' 
and ways in which it makes its entry, can be explored. v 

Underlying this biological-ontical exploration of death is a problematic 
that is ontological. We still have to ask how the ontological essence of 
death is defined in terms of that of life. In a certain way, this has always 
been decided already in the ontical investigation of death. Such investiga- 
tions operate with preliminary conceptions of life and death, which have 
been more or less clarified. These preliminary conceptions need to be 
sketched out by the ontology of Dasein. Within the ontology of Dasein, 
which is superordinate to an ontology of life, the existential analysis of death 
is, in turn, subordinate to a characterization of Dasein' s basic state. The 
ending of that which lives we have called 'perishing'. Dasein too 'has' its 
death, of the kind appropriate to anything that lives ; and it has it, not in 
ontical isolation, but as codetermined by its primordial kind of Being. 
In so far as this is the case, Dasein too can end without authentically 
dying, though on the other hand, qua Dasein, it does not simply perish. 
We designate this intermediate phenomenon as its "demise". 1 Let the term 
"dying" stand for that way of Being in which Dasein is towards its death. 2 
Accordingly we must say that Dasein never perishes. Dasein, however, 
can demise only as long as it is dying. Medical and biological investiga- 
tion into "demising" can obtain results which may even become significant 
ontologically if the basic orientation for an existential Interpretation of 
death has been made secure. Or must sickness and death in general — 
even from a medical point of view — be primarily conceived as existential 
phenomena ? 

The existential Interpretation of death takes precedence over any 
biology and ontology of life. But it is also the foundation for any investiga- 
tion of death which is biographical or historiological, ethnological or 
psychological. In any 'typology' of 'dying', as a characterization of the 
conditions under which a demise is 'Experienced' and of the ways in 
which it is 'Experienced', the concept of death is already presupposed. 
Moreover, a psychology of 'dying' gives information about the 'living' of 
the person who is 'dying', rather than about dying itself. This simply 
reflects the fact that when Dasein dies — and even when it dies authentically 
— it does not have to do so with an Experience of its factical demising, or 
in such an Experience. Likewise the ways in which death is taken among 

1 'Ableben\ This term, which literally means something like 'living out' one's life, is 
used in ordinary German as a rather legalistic term for a person's death. We shall translate 
it as 'demise' (both as a noun and as a verb), which also has legalistic connotations. But 
this translation is an arbitrary one, and does not adequately express the meaning which 
Heidegger is explaining. 

2 c . . . Seinsweise, in der das Dasein zu seinem Tode ist.' 

ag2 Being and Time II. I 

primitive peoples, and their ways of comporting themselves towards it in 
magic and cult, illuminate primarily the understanding of Dasein; but 
the Interpretation of this understanding already requires an existential 
analytic and a corresponding conception of death. 

On the other hand, in the ontological analysis of Beiiig-towards-the- 
end there is no anticipation of our taking any existential stand towards 
death. If "death" is defined as the 'end' of Dasein — that is to say, of Being- 
in-the-world — this does not imply any ontical decision whether 'after 
death' still another Being is possible, either higher or lower, or whether 
Dasein 'lives on' or even 'outlasts' itself and is 'immortal'. Nor is anything 
decided ontically about the 'other-worldly' and its possibility, any more 
than about the 'this-worldly' ; 2 it is not as if norms and rules for comporting 
oneself towards death were to be proposed for 'edification'. But our 
analysis of death remains purely 'this-worldly' in so far as it Interprets 
that phenomenon merely in the way in which it enters into any particular 
Dasein as a possibility of its Being. Only when death is conceived in its full 
ontological essence can we have any methodological assurance in even asking 
what may be after death; only then can we do so with meaning and justifica- 
tion. Whether such a question is a possible theoretical question at all will 
not be decided here. The this-worldly ontological Interpretation of death 
takes precedence over any ontical other-worldly speculation. 

Finally, what might be discussed under the topic of a 'metaphysic of 
death' lies outside the domain of an existential analysis of death. Questions 
of how and when death 'came into the world', what 'meaning' it can 
have and is to have as an evil and affliction in the aggregate of entities — 
these are questions which necessarily presuppose an understanding not 
only of the character of Being which belongs to death, but of the ontology 
of the aggregate of entities as a whole, and especially of the ontological 
clarification of evil and negativity in general. 

Methodologically, the existential analysis is superordinate to the ques- 
tions of a biology, psychology, theodicy, or theology of death. Taken 
ontically, the results of the analysis show the peculiar formality and empti- 
ness of any ontological characterization. However, that must not blind us 
to the rich and complicated structure of the phenomenon. If Dasein in 
general never becomes accessible as something present-at-hand, because 
Being-possible belongs in its own way to Dasein's kind of Being, even less 
may we expect that we can simply read off the ontological structure of 
death, if death is indeed a distinctive possibility of Dasein. 

On the other hand, the analysis cannot keep clinging to an idea of death 

1 *Ober das "Jenseits" und seine Moglichkeit wird ebensowenig ontisch entschieden 
wie fiber das "Diesseits" . . The quotation marks around "Diesseits" appear only in the 
later editions. 

II. i Being and Time 293 

which has been devised accidentally and at random. We can restrain this 
arbitrariness only by giving beforehand an ontological characterization of 
the kind of Being in which the 'end' enters into Dasein's average every- 
dayness. To do so,' we must fully envisage those structures of everydayness 
which we have earlier set forth. The fact that in an existential analysis of 
death, existentiell possibilities of Being-towards-death are consonant with 
it, is implied by the essence of all ontological investigation. All the more 
explicitly must the existential definition of concepts be unaccompanied by 
any existentiell commitments, 1 especially with relation to death, in which 
Dasein's character as possibility lets itself be revealed most precisely. The 249 
existential problematic aims only at setting forth the ontological structure 
of Dasein's Being-/on;<zr<&-the-end. vi 

1f 50. Preliminary Sketch of the Existential-ontological Structure of Death 

From our considerations of totality, end, and that which is still out- 
standing, there has emerged the necessity of Interpreting the phenomenon 
of death as Being-towards-the-end, and of doing so in terms of Dasein's 
basic state. Only so can it be made plain to what extent Being-a-whole, 
as constituted by Being towards-the-end, is possible in Dasein itself in 
conformity with the structure of its Being. We have seen that care is the 
basic state of Dasein. The ontological signification of the expression 
"care" has been expressed in the 'definition': "ahead-of-itself-Being- 
already-in (the world) as Being-alongside entities which we encounter 
(within-the-world)'\ vil In this are expressed the fundamental character- 
istics of Dasein's Being: existence, in the "ahead-of-itself " ; facticity, in the 250 
"Being-already-in" ; falling, in the "Being-alongside". If indeed death 
belongs in a distinctive sense to the Being of Dasein, then death (or Being- 
towards-the-end) must be defined in terms of these characteristics. 

We must, in the first instance, make plain in a preliminary sketch how 
Dasein's existence, facticity, and falling reveal themselves in the pheno- 
menon of death. 

The Interpretation in which the "not-yet — and with it even the utter- 
most "not-yet", the end of Dasein— was taken in the sense of something 
still outstanding, has been rejected as inappropriate in that it included the 
ontological perversion of making Dasein something present-at-hand. 
Being-at-an-end implies existentially Being-towards-the-end. The utter- 
most "not-yet" has the character of something towards which Dasein 
comports itself The end is impending [steht . . . bevor] for Dasein. Death is 
not something not yet present-at-hand, nor is it that which is ultimately 

1 'Urn so ausdriicklicher muss mit der existenzialen Begriffsbestimmung die existen- 
zielle Unverbindlichkeit zusammengehen . . 

294 Being and Time II. I 

still outstanding but which has been reduced to a minimum. Death is 
something that stands before us — something impending. 1 

However, there is much that can impend for Dasein as Being-in-the- 
world. The character of impendence is not distinctive of death. On the 
contrary, this Interpretation could even lead us to suppose that death 
must be understood in the sense of some impending event encountered 
environmentally. For instance, a storm, the remodelling of the house, or 
the arrival of a friend, may be impending; and these are entities which are 
respectively present-at-hand, ready-to-hand, and there-with-us. The 
death which impends does not have this kind of Being. 

But there may also be impending for Dasein a journey, for instance, or 
a disputation with Others, or the forgoing of something of a kind which 
Dasein itself can be — its own possibilities of Being, which are based on its 
Being with Others. 

Death is a possibility-of-Being which Dasein itself has to take over in 
every case. With death, Dasein stands before itself in its ownmost poten- 
tiality-for-Being. This is a possibility in which the issue is nothing less 
than Dasein's Being-in-the-world. Its death is the possibility of no-longer 
being-able-to-be-there. 2 If Dasein stands before itself as this possibility, 
it has been fully assigned to its ownmost potentiality-for-Being. When it 
stands before itself in this way, all its relations to any other Dasein have 
been undone. 3 This ownmost non-relational 4 possibility is at the same 
time the uttermost one. 

As potentiality-for-Being, Dasein cannot outstrip the possibility of 
death. Death is the possibility of the absolute impossibility of Dasein. 
Thus death reveals itself as that possibility which is one's ownmost y which is 
non-relational, and which is not to be outstripped [uniiberholbare'] . As such, death 
is something distinctively impending. Its existential possibility is based on the 
fact that Dasein is essentially disclosed to itself, and disclosed, indeed, as 
ahead-of-itself . This item in the structure of care has its most primordial con- 
cretion in Being-towards-death. As a phenomonon, Being-towards-the-end 

1 '. . . sondern eher ein Bevorstand* While we shall ordinarily use various forms of 
'impend* to translate 'Bevorstand', 'bevorstehen', etc., one must bear in mind that the 
literal meaning of these expressions is one of 'standing before', so that they may be quite 
plausibly contrasted with 'Ausstehen', etc. ('standing out'). Thus we shall occasionally 
use forms of 'stand before* when this connotation seems to be dominant. 

2 'Nicht-mehr-dasein-konnens.' Notice that the expressions 'Seinkonnen* (our 'poten- 
tiality-for-Being') and 'NichtmehrdasehV (our 'no-longer-Dasein') are here fused. Cf. 
H. 237-242. 

8 'So sich bevorstehend sind in ihm alle Beziige zu anderem Dasein gelost.' 

4 'unbeztigliche'. This term appears frequently throughout the chapter, and, as the 
present passage makes clear, indicates that in death Dasein is cut off from relations with 
others. The term has accordingly been translated as 'non-relational', in the sense of 
'devoid of relationships* . 

II. 1 Being and Time 295 

becomes plainer as Being towards that distinctive possibility of Dasein 
which we have characterized. 

This ownmost possibility, however, non-relational and not to be out- 
stripped, is not one which Dasein procures for itself subsequently and 
occasionally in the course of its Being. On the contrary, if Dasein exists, 
it has already been thrown into this possibility. Dasein does not, proximally 
and for the most part, have any explicit or even any theoretical knowledge 
of the fact that it has been delivered over to its death, and that death thus 
belongs to Being-in-the-world. Thrownness into death reveals itself to 
Dasein in a more primordial and impressive manner in that state-of-mind 
which we have called "anxiety". v111 Anxiety in the face of death is anxiety 
'in the face of that potentiality-for-Being which is one's ownmost, non- 
relational, and not to be outstripped. That in the face of which one has 
anxiety is Being-in-the-world itself. That about which one has this anxiety 
is simply Dasein's potentiality-for-Being. ^nxiety in the face of death 
must not be confused with fear in the face of one's demise. This anxiety 
is not an accidental or random mood of 'weakness' in some individual; 
but, as a basic state-of-mind of Dasein, it amounts to the disclosedness of 
the fact that Dasein exists as thrown Being towards its end. Thus the 
existential conception of ''dying 5 ' is made clear as thrown Being towards 
its ownmost potentiality-for-Being, which is non-relational and not to be 
outstripped. Precision is gained by distinguishing this from pure dis- 
appearance, and also from merely perishing, and finally from the 'Experi- 
encing' of a demise. 1 

Being-towards-the-end does not first arise through some attitude which 
occasionally emerges, nor does it arise as such an attitude; it belongs 
essentially to Dasein's thrownness, which reveals itself in a state-of-mind 
(mood) in one way or another. The factical 'knowledge' or 'ignorance' 
which prevails in any Dasein as to its ownmost Being-towards-the-end, is 
only the expression of the existentiell possibility that there are different 
ways of maintaining oneself in this Being. Factically, there are many who, 
proximally and for the most part, do not know about death; but this must 
not be passed off as a ground for proving that Being-towards-death does not 
belong to Dasein 'universally'. It only proves that proximally and for the 
most part Dasein covers up its ownmost Being-towards-death, fleeing in 
the face of it. Factically, Dasein is dying as long as it exists, but proximally 
and for the most part, it does so by way of falling. For factical existing is 
not only generally and without further differentiation a thrown poten- 
tiality-for-Being-in-the-world, but it has always likewise been absorbed in 
the 'world' of its concern. In this falling Being-alongside, fleeing from 
1 '. . . gegen ein "Erleben" des Ablebens.' (Cf. Section 49 above.) 

296 Being and Time II. 1 

uncanniness announces itself; and this means now, a fleeing in the face 
of one's ownmost Being-towards-death. Existence, facticity, and falling 
characterize Being-towards-the-end, and are therefore constitutive for the 
existential conception of death. As regards its ontological possibility, dying is 
grounded in care. 

But if Being-towards-death belongs primordially and essentially to 
Dasein's Being, then it must also be exhibitable in everydayness, even if 
proximally in a way which is inauthentic. 1 And if Being-towards-the-end 
should afford the existential possibility of an existentiell Being-a-whole for 
Dasein, then this would give phenomenal confirmation for the thesis that 
"care" is the ontological term for the totality of Dasein's structural whole. 
If, however, we are to provide a full phenomenal justification for this 
principle, a preliminary sketch of the connection between Being-towards- 
death and care is not sufficient. We must be able to see this connection 
above all in that concretion which lies closest to Dasein — its everydayness. 

If 5/. Being-towards-death and the Everydayness of Dasein 

In setting forth average everyday Being-towards-death, we must take 
our orientation from those structures of everydayness at which we have 
earlier arrived. In Being-towards-death, Dasein comports itself towards 
itself as a distinctive potentiality-for-Being. But the Self of everydayness is 
the "they". 1 * The "they" is constituted by the way things have been 
publicly interpreted, which expresses itself in idle talk. 2 Idle talk must 
accordingly make manifest the way in which everyday Dasein interprets 
for itself its Being-towards-death. The foundation of any interpretation 
is an act of understanding, which is always accompanied by a state-of- 
mind, or, in other words, which has a mood. So we must ask how Being- 
towards-death is disclosed by the kind of understanding which, with its 
state-of-mind, lurks in the idle talk of the "they". How does the "they" 
comport itself understanding^ towards that ownmost possibility of Dasein, 
which is non-relational and is not to be outstripped ? What state-of-mind 
discloses to the "they" that it has been delivered over to death, and in 
what way? 

In the publicness with which we are with one another in our everyday 
manner, death is 'known* as a mishap which is constantly occurring — as 
a 'case of death'. 3 Someone or other 'dies', be he neighbour or stranger 

1 '. . . dann muss es auch — wenngleich zunachst uneigentlich — in der Alltaglichkeit 
aufweisbar sein.' The earlier editions have another 'auch' just before 'in der Alltaglichkeit*. 

2 '. . . das sich in der offentlichen Ausgelegtheit konstituiert, die sich im Gerede auss- 
pricht.' The earlier editions have '. . . konstituiert. Sie spricht sich aus im Gerede.* 

3 'Die Offentlichkeit des alltaglichen Miteinander "kennt" den Tod als standig vor- 
kommendes Begegnis, als "TodesfaU'V 

II. I Being and Time 297 

[Nachste oder Fernerstehende]. People who are no acquaintances of ours 
are 'dying' daily and hourly. 'Death' is encountered as a well-known event 
occurring within-the-world. As such it remains in the inconspicuousness* 
characteristic of what is encountered in an everyday fashion. The "they" 
has already stowed away [gesichert] an interpretation for this event. It 
talks of it in a 'fugitive' manner, either expressly or else in a way which is 
mostly inhibited, as if to say, "One of these days one will die too, in the 
end; but right now it has nothing to do with us." 1 

The analysis of the phrase 'one dies' reveals unambiguously the kind 
of Being which belongs to everyday Being-towards-death. In such a way 
of talking, death is understood as an indefinite something which, above all, 
must duly arrive from somewhere or other, but which is proximally not 
yet present~at-hand for oneself, and is therefore no threat. The expression 
'one dies' spreads abroad the opinion that what gets reached, as it were, 
by death, is the "they". In Dasein's public way of interpreting, it is said 
that 'one dies', because everyone else and oneself can talk himself into 
saying that "in no case is it I myself", for this "one" is the "nobody". 2 
'Dying' is levelled off to an occurrence which reaches Dasein, to be sure, 
but belongs to nobody in particular. If idle talk is always ambiguous, so 
is this manner of talking about death. Dying, which is essentially mine 
in such a way that no one can be my representative, is perverted into an 
event of public occurrence which the "they" encounters. In the way of 
talking which we have characterized, death is spoken of as a 'case' which 
is constantly occurring. Death gets passed off as always something 'actual'; 
its character as a possibility gets concealed, and so are the other two 
items that belong to it — the fact that it is non-relational and that it is not 
to be outstripped. By such ambiguity, Dasein puts itself in the position 
of losing itself in the "they" as regards a distinctive potentiality-for-Being 
which belongs to Dasein's ownmost Self. The "they" gives its approval, 
and aggravates the temptation to cover up from oneself one's ownmost 
Being-towards-death. xi This evasive concealment in the face of death 
dominates everydayness so stubbornly that, in Being with one another, the 
'neighbours' often still keep talking the 'dying person' into the belief that 
he will escape death and soon return to the tranquillized everydayness of 
the world of his concern. Such 'solicitude' is meant to 'console' him. It 
insists upon bringing him back into Dasein, while in addition it helps him 

1 . . man stirbt am Ende auch einmal, aber zunachst bleibt man selbst unbetroffen.' 

2 'Die offentliche Daseinsauslegung sagt: "man stirbt", weil damit jeder andere und 
man selbst sich einreden kann: je nicht gerade ich; denn dieses Man ist das Niemand' 
While we have usually followed the convention of translating the indefinite pronoun 
'man' as 'one' and the expression 'das Man* as 'the "they" to do so here would obscure 
the point. 

298 Being and Time II. i 

to keep his ownmost non-relational possibility-of-Being completely con- 
cealed. In this manner the "they" provides [besorgt] a constant tranquilliza- 
tion about death. At bottom, however, this is a tranquillization not only for 
him who is 'dying' but just as much for those who 'console' him. And even 
in the case of a demise, the public is still not to have its own tranquillity 
upset by such an event, or be disturbed in the carefreeness with which it 
concerns itself. 1 Indeed the dying of Others is seen often enough as a 
social inconvenience, if not even a downright tactlessness, against which 
the public is to be guarded. x11 

But along with this tranquillization, which forces Dasein away from its 
death, the "they" at the same time puts itself in the right and makes 
itself respectable by tacitly regulating the way in which one has to comport 
oneself towards death. It is already a matter of public acceptance that 
'thinking about death' is a cowardly fear, a sign of insecurity on the part 
of Dasein, and a sombre way of fleeing from the world. The "they" does 
not permit us the courage for anxiety in the face of death. The dominance of the 
manner in which things have been publicly interpreted by the "they", 
has already decided what state-of-mind is to determine our attitude 
towards death. In anxiety in the face of death, Dasein is brought face to 
face with itself as delivered over to that possibility which is not to be 
outstripped. The "they" concerns itself with transforming this anxiety into 
fear in the face of an oncoming event. In addition, the anxiety which has 
been made ambiguous as fear, is passed off as a weakness with which no 
self-assured Dasein may have any acquaintance. What is 'fitting' [Was 
sich . . . "gehort"] according to the unuttered decree of the "they", is 
indifferent tranquillity as to the 'fact' that one dies. The cultivation of 
such a 'superior' indifference alienates Dasein from its ownmost non- 
relational potentiality-for-Being. 

But temptation, tranquillization, and alienation are distinguishing 
marks of the kind of Being called "falling". As falling, everyday Being- 
towards-death is a constant fleeing in the face of death. Being-towards-the-end 
has the mode of evasion in the face of it — giving new explanations for it, 
understanding it inauthentically, and concealing it. Factically one's own 
Dasein is always dying already; that is to say, it is in a Being- towards- 
its-end. And it hides this Fact from itself by recoining "death" as just a 
"case of death" in Others — an everyday occurrence which, if need be, 
gives us the assurance still more plainly that 'oneself' is still 'living'. But 
in thus falling and fleeing in the face of death, Dasein's everydayness 
attests that the very "they" itself already has the definite character of 

1 'Und selbst im Falle des Ablebens noch soil die Offentlichkeit durch das Ereignis 
nicht in ihrer besorgten Sorglosigkeit gestdrt und beunruhigt werden,' 

II. i Being and Time 299 

Being-towards-death,evenwhen it is not explicitly engaged in 'thinking about 
death'. Even in average everydayness, this ownmost potentiality-for-Being, which is 
non-relational and not to be outstripped, is constantly an issue for Dasein. This is 
the case when its concern is merely in the mode of an untroubled indifference towards 
the uttermost possibility of existence. 1 

In setting forth everyday Being-towards-death, however, we are at the 
same time enjoined to try to secure a full existential conception of Being- 
towards-the-end, by a more penetrating Interpretation in which falling 
Being-towards-death is taken as an evasion in the face of death. That in the 
face of which one flees has been made visible in a way which is phenomenally 
adequate. Against this it must be possible to project phenomenologically 
the way in which evasive Dasein itself understands its death.* 111 

1f 52. Everyday Being-towards-the-end, and the Full Existential Conception of 

In our preliminary existential sketch, Being-towards-the-end has been 
defined as Being towards one's ownmost potentiality-for-Being, which is 
non-relational and is not to be outstripped. Being towards this possibility, 
as a Being which exists, is brought face to face with the absolute impos- 
sibility of existence. Beyond this seemingly empty characterization of 
Being-towards-death, there has been revealed the concretion of this Being 
in the mode of everydayness. In accordance with the tendency to falling, 
which is essential to everydayness, Being-towards-death has turned out to 
be an evasion in the face of death — an evasion which conceals. While our 
investigation has hitherto passed from a formal sketch of the ontological 
structure of death to the concrete analysis of everyday Being-towards-the- 
end, the direction is now to be reversed, and we shall arrive at the full 
existential conception of death by rounding out our Interpretation of 
everyday Being-towards-the-end. 

In explicating everyday Being-towards-death we have clung to the idle 
talk of the "they" to the effect that "one dies too, sometime, but not right 
away." 2 All that we have Interpreted thus far is the 'one dies' as such. In 
the 'sometime, but not right away', everydayness concedes something like 
a certainty of death. Nobody doubts that one dies. On the other hand, this 
'not doubting' need not imply that kind of Being-certain which corre- 
sponds to the way death— in the sense of the distinctive possibility char- 
acterized above — enters into Dasein. Everydayness confines itself to 

1 . . wenn auch nur im Modus des Besorgens einer unbehelligten Gleichgultigkeit gegcn die 
ausserste Moglichkeit seiner Existenz' Ordinarily the expression 'Gleichgultigkeit gegen 
means simply 'indifference towards'. But Heidegger's use of boldface type suggests that 
here he also has in mind that 'gegen* may mean 'against' or 'in opposition to . 

2 '. . . man stirbt auch einmal, aber vorlaufig noch nicht.' 

300 Being and Time II. i 

conceding the 'certainty' of death in this ambiguous manner just in order 
to weaken that certainty by covering up dying still more and to alleviate 
its own thrownness into death. 

By its very meaning, this evasive concealment in the face of death can 
not be authentically 'certain* of death, and yet it is certain of it. What are 
we to say about the 'certainty of death' ? 

To be certain of an entity means to hold it for true as something true. 1 
But "truth" signifies the uncoveredness of some entity, and all uncovered- 
ness is grounded ontologically in the most primordial truth, the disclosed- 
ness of Dasein. xiv As an entity which is both disclosed and disclosing, and 
one which uncovers, Dasein is essentially 'in the truth'. But certainty is 
grounded in the truth, or belongs to it equiprimordially. The expression 'certainty', 
like the term 'truth', has a double signification. Primordially "truth" 
means the same as "Being-disclosive", as a way in which Dasein behaves. 
From this comes the derivative signification: "the uncoveredness of 
entities". Correspondingly, "certainty", in its primordial signification, is 
tantamount to "Being-certain", as a kind of Being which belongs to 
Dasein. However, in a derivative signification, any entity of which 
Dasein can be certain will also get called something 'certain'. 

One mode of certainty is conviction. In conviction, Dasein lets the testi- 
mony of the thing itself which has been uncovered (the true thing itself) 
be the sole determinant for its Being towards that thing understandingly. 2 
Holding something for true is adequate as a way of maintaining oneself 
in the truth, if it is grounded in the uncovered entity itself, and if, as 
Being towards the entity so uncovered, it has become transparent to itself 
as regards its appropriateness to that entity. In any arbitrary fiction or in 
merely having some 'view' ["Ansicht"] about an entity, this sort of thing 
is lacking. 

The adequacy of holding-for-true is measured according to the truth- 
claim to which it belongs. Such a claim gets its justification from the kind 
of Being of the entity to be disclosed, and from the direction of the dis- 
closure. The kind of truth, and along with it, the certainty, varies with 
the way entities differ, and accords with the guiding tendency and extent 
of the disclosure. Our present considerations will be restricted to an 

1 'Eines Seienden gewiss-sein besagt: es als wahres fur wahr halten* The earlier editions 
have 'Gewisssein* instead of 'gewiss-sein'. Our literal but rather unidiomatic translation 
of the^ phrase 'fur wahr halten* seems desirable in view of Heidegger's extensive use of the 
verb 'halten' ('hold') in subsequent passages where this phrase occurs, though this is 
obscured by our translating 'halten sich in ...» as 'maintain itself in . . and 'halten 
sich an . . / as 'cling to . . .* or 'stick to . . A 

2 'In ihr lasst sich das Dasein einzig durch das Zeugnis der entdeckten (wahre) Sache 
selbst sein verstehendes Sein zu dieser bestimmen.' The connection between 'Uberzeu- 
gung* ('conviction') and 'Zeugnis' (testimony) is obscured in our translation. 

II. I Being and Time 301 

analysis of Being-certain with regard to death; and this Being-certain 
will in the end present us with a distinctive certainty of Dasein. 

For the most part, everyday Dasein covers up the ownmost possibility 
of its Being — that possibility which is non-relational and not to be out- 
stripped. This factical tendency to cover up confirms our thesis that Dasein, 
as factical, is in the 'untruth' Therefore the certainty which belongs to 
such a covering-up of Being-towards-death must be an inappropriate way 
of holding-for-true, and not, for instance, an uncertainty in the sense of 
a doubting. In inappropriate certainty, that of which one is certain is 
held covered up. If 'one' understands death as an event which one 
encounters in one's environment, then the certainty which is related to 
such events does not pertain to Being-towards-the-end. 

They say, "It is certain that 'Death' is coming.' 1 They say it, and the 
"they" overlooks the fact that in order to be able to be certain of 
death, Dasein itself must in every case be certain of its ownmost non- 
relational potentiality-for-Being. They say, "Death is certain"; and 
in saying so, they implant in Dasein the illusion that it is itself certain 
of its death. And what is the ground of everyday Being-certain? 
Manifesdy, it is not just mutual persuasion. Yet the 'dying' of Others 
is something that one experiences daily. Death is an undeniable 'fact of 

The way in which everyday Being-towards-death understands the 
certainty which is thus grounded, betrays itself when it tries to 'think' 
about death, even when it does so with critical foresight — that is to say, 
in an appropriate manner. So far as one knows, all men 'die'. Death is 
probable in the highest degree for every man, yet it is not 'unconditionally' 
certain. Taken strictly, a certainty which is 'only' empirical may be attri- 
buted to death. Such certainty necessarily falls short of the highest 
certainty, the apodictic, which we reach in certain domains of theoretical 

In this 'critical' determination of the certainty of death, and of its 
impendence, what is manifested in the first instance is, once again, a 
failure to recognize Dasein's kind of Being and the Being-towards-death 
which belongs to Dasein — a failure that is characteristic of everydayness. 
The fact that demise, as an event which occurs, is 'only' empirically certain, is in no 
way decisive as to the certainty of death. Cases of death may be the factical 
occasion for Dasein's first paying attention to death at all. So long, however, 
as Dasein remains in the empirical certainty which we have mentioned, 
death, in the way that it 'is', is something of which Dasein can by no means 
become certain. Even though, in the publicness of the "they", Dasein 
1 'Man sagt: es ist gewiss, dass "der" Tod kommt.' 

302 Being and Time II. i 

seems to 'talk' only of this 'empirical' certainty of death, nevertheless at 
bottom Dasein does not exclusively or primarily stick to those cases of 
death which merely occur. In evading its death, even everyday Being- 
towards-the-end is indeed certain of its death in another way than it 
might itself like to have true on purely theoretical considerations. This 
'other way' is what everydayness for the most part veils from itself. Every- 
dayness does not dare to let itself become transparent in such a manner. 
We have already characterized the every-day state-of-mind which consists 
in an air of superiority with regard to the certain 'fact' of death — a super- 
iority which is 'anxiously' concerned while seemingly free from anxiety. 
In this state-of-mind, everydayness acknowledges a 'higher' certainty than 
one which is only empirical. One knows about the certainty of death, and 
yet 'is' not authentically certain of one's own. The falling everydayness of 
Dasein is acquainted with death's certainty, and yet evades Being-certain. 
But in the light of what it evades, this very evasion attests phenomenally 
that death must be conceived as one's ownmost possibility, non-relational, 
not to be outstripped, and — above all — certain. 

One says, "Death certainly comes, but not right away". With this 
'but . . .', the "they" denies that death is certain. 'Not right away' is not 
a purely negative assertion, but a way in which the "they" interprets 
itself. With this interpretation, the "they" refers itself to that which is 
proximally accessible to Dasein and amenable to its concern. Everyday- 
ness forces its way into the urgency of concern, and divests itself of the 
fetters of a weary 'inactive thinking about death'. Death is deferred to 
'sometime later', and this is done by invoking the so-called 'general 
opinion' ["allgemeine Ermessen"]. Thus the "they" covers up what is 
peculiar in death's certainty — that it is possible at any moment Along with 
the certainty of death goes the indefiniteness of its "when". Everyday Being- 
towards-death evades this indefiniteness by conferring definiteness upon it. 
But such a procedure cannot signify calculating when the demise is due 
to arrive. In the face of definiteness such as this, Dasein would sooner 
flee. Everyday concern makes definite for itself the indefiniteness of certain 
death by interposing before it those urgencies and possibilities which can 
be taken in at a glance, and which belong to the everyday matters that 
are closest to us. 

But when this indefiniteness has been covered up, the certainty has been 
covered up too. Thus death's ownmost character as a possibility gets 
veiled — a possibility which is certain and at the same time indefinite^ — 
that is to say, possible at any moment. 

Now that we have completed our Interpretation of the everyday 
manner in which the "they" talks about death and the way death enters 

II. i Being and Time 303 

into Dasein, we have been led to the characters of certainty and indefinite- 
ness. The full existential-ontological conception of death may now be 
defined as follows: death, as the end of Dasein, is Dasein } s ownmost possibility — 
non-relational, certain and as such indefinite, not to be outstripped. Death is, as 
Dasein' s end, in the Being of this entity towards its end. 

Defining the existential structure of Being-towards-the-end helps us to 
work out a kind of Being of Dasein in which Dasein, as Dasein, can be a 
whole. The fact that even everyday Dasein already is towards its end — that 
is to say, is constantly coming to grips with its death, though in a 'fugitive' 
manner — shows that this end, conclusive [abschliessende] and detennina- 
tive for Being-a-whole, is not something to which Dasein ultimately comes 
only in its demise. In Dasein, as being towards its death, its own utter- 
most "not-yet" has already been included — that "not-yet" which all 
others lie ahead of. 1 So if one has given an ontologically inappropriate 
Interpretation of Dasein's "not-yet" as something still outstanding, any 
formal inference from this to Dasein's lack of totality will not be correct. 
The phenomenon of the "not-yet" has been taken over from the "ahead-of -itself" ; 
no more than the care-structure in general, can it serve as a higher court which would 
rule against the possibility of an existent Being-a-whole; indeed this "ahead-of- 
itself" is what first of all makes such a Being-towards-the-end possible. The 
problem of the possible Being-a-whole of that entity which each of us is, 
is a correct one if care, as Dasein's basic state, is 'connected' with death 
— the uttermost possibility for that entity. 

Meanwhile, it remains questionable whether this problem has been as 
yet adequately worked out. Being-towards-death is grounded in care. 
Dasein, as thrown Being-in-the-world, has in every case already been 
delivered over to its death. In being towards its death, Dasein is dying 
factically and indeed constantly, as long as it has not yet come to its demise. 
When we say that Dasein is factically dying, we are saying at the same time 
that in its Being-towards-death Dasein has always decided itself in one 
way or another. Our everyday falling evasion in the face of death is an 
inauthentic Being-towards-death. But inauthenticity is based on the pos- 
sibility of authenticity . xvl Inauthenticity characterizes a kind of Being 
into which Dasein can divert itself and has for the most part always 
diverted itself; but Dasein does not necessarily and constantly have to 
divert itself into this kind of Being. Because Dasein exists, it determines its 

1 . . dem alle anderen vorgelagert sind . . This clause is ambiguous, both in the 
German and in our translation, though the point is fairly clear. The ultimate 'not-yet* is 
not one which all others 'lie ahead of* in the sense that they lie beyond it or come after 
it; for nothing can 'lie ahead of it' in this sense. But they can 'lie ahead of it* in the sense 
that they might be actualized before the ultimate 'not-yet' has been actualized. (Contrast 
this passage with H. 302, where the same participle 'vorgelagert' is apparently applied 
in the former sense to death itself.) 

304 Being and Time II. 1 

own character as the kind of entity it is, and it does so in every case in 
terms of a possibility which it itself is and which it understands. 1 

Can Dasein also understand authentically its ownmost possibility, which is 
non-relational and not to be outstripped, which is certain and, as such, 
indefinite ? That is, can Dasein maintain itself in an authentic Being- 
towards-its-end ? As long as this authentic Being-towards-death has not 
been set forth and ontologically defined, there is something essentially 
lacking in our existential Interpretation of Being- towards-the-end. 

Authentic Being-towards-death signifies an existentiell possibility of 
Dasein. This ontical potentiality-for-Being must, in turn, be ontologically 
possible. What are the existential conditions of this possibility? How are 
they themselves to become accessible? 

If 53* Existential Projection of an Authentic Being-towards-death 

Factically, Dasein maintains itself proximally and for the most part in 
an inauthentic Being-towards-death. How is the ontological possibility of 
an authentic Being-towards-death to be characterized 'Objectively', if, in 
the end, Dasein never comports itself authentically towards its end, or if, 
in accordance with its very meaning, this authentic Being must remain 
hidden from the Others? Is it not a fanciful undertaking, to project the 
existential possibility of so questionable an existentiell potentiality-for- 
Being? What is needed, if such a projection is to go beyond a merely 
fictitious arbitrary construction? Does Dasein itself give us any instruc- 
tions for carrying it out? And can any grounds for its phenomenal 
legitimacy be taken from Dasein itself? Can our analysis of Dasein up to 
this point give us any prescriptions for the ontological task we have now 
set ourselves, so that what we have before us may be kept on a road of 
which we can be sure? 

The existential conception of death has been established; and therewith 
we have also established what it is that an authentic Being-towards-the- 
end should be able to comport itself towards. We have also characterized 
inauthentic Being-towards-death, and thus we have prescribed in a 
negative way [prohibitiv] how it is possible for authentic Being-towards- 
death not to be. It is with these positive and prohibitive instructions that 
the existential edifice of an authentic Being-towards-death must let itself 
be projected. 

Dasein is constituted by disclosedness — that is, by an understanding 
with a state-of-mind. Authentic Being-towards-death can not evade its own- 
most non-relational possibility, or cover up this possibility by thus fleeing 

1 'Weil das Dasein existiert, bestimmt es sich als Seiendes, wie es ist, je aus einer 
Moglichkeit, die es selbst ist und versteht.' 

II. 1 Being and Time 305 

from it, or give a new explanation for it to accord with the common sense of 
the "they". In our existential projection of an authentic Being-towards- 
death, therefore, we must set forth those items in such a Being which are 
constitutive for it as an understanding of death — and as such an under- 
standing in the sense of Being towards this possibility without either 
fleeing it or covering it up. 

In the first instance, we must characterize Being-towards-death as a 
Being towards a possibility — indeed, towards a distinctive possibility of 
Dasein itself. "Being towards" a possibility — that is to say, towards some- 
thing possible— may signify "Being out for" something possible, as in 
concerning ourselves with its actualization. Such possibilities are con- 
stantly encountered in the field of what is rcady-to-hand and present-at- 
hand— what is attainable, controllable, practicable, and the like. In 
concernfully Being out for something possible, there is a tendency to 
annihilate the possibility of the possible by making it available to us. But the 
concernful actualization of equipment which is ready-to-hand (as in 
producing it, getting it ready, readjusting it, and so on) is always merely 
relative, since even that which has been actualized is still characterized 
in terms of some involvements — indeed this is precisely what characterizes 
its Being. Even though actualized, it remains, as actual, something pos- 
sible for doing something; it is characterized by an "in-order-to". What 
our analysis is to make plain is simply how Being out for something con- 
cernfully, comports itself towards the possible: it does so not by the 
theoretico-thematical consideration of the possible as possible, and by 
having regard for its possibility as such, but rather by looking circum- 
spectively away from the possible and looking at that for which it is possible 
[das Wofur-moglich] . 

Manifestly Being-towards-death, which is now in question, cannot have 
the character of concernfully Being out to get itself actualized. For one 
thing, death as possible is not something possible which is ready-to-hand 
or present-at-hand, but a possibility of Dasein's Being. So to concern 
oneself with actualizing what is thus possible would have to signify, 
"bringing about one's demise". But if this were done, Dasein would 
deprive itself of the very ground for an existing Being-towards-death. 

Thus, if by "Being towards death" we do not have in view an 'actuali- 
zing' of death, neither can we mean "dwelling upon the end in its pos- 
sibility". This is the way one comports oneself when one 'thinks about 
death', pondering over when and how this possibility may perhaps be 
actualized. Of course such brooding over death does not fully take away 
from it its character as a possibility. Indeed, it always gets brooded over as 
something that is coming; but in such brooding we weaken it by calculating 

go6 Being and Time H- 1 

how we are to have it at our disposal. As something possible, it is to 
show as little as possible of its possibility. On the other hand, if Being- 
towards-death has to disclose understanding^ the possibility which we 
have characterized, and if it is to disclose it as a possibility, then in such 
Being-towards-death this possibility must not be weakened: it must be 
understood as a possibility, it must be cultivated as a possibility, and we must 
put up with it as a possibility, in the way we comport ourselves towards it. 

However, Dasein comports itself towards something possible in its 
possibility by expecting it [im Erwarten]. Anyone who is intent on something 
possible, may encounter it unimpeded and undiminished in its 'whether 
it comes or does not, or whether it comes after all'. 1 But with this pheno- 
menon of expecting, has not our analysis reached the same kind of Being 
towards the possible to which we have already called attention in our 
description of "Being out for something" concernfully? To expect some- 
thing possible is always to understand it and to We' it with regard to 
whether and when and how it will be actually present-at-hand. Expecting 
is not just an occasional looking-away from the possible to its possible 
actualization, but is essentially a waiting for that actualization [ein Warten 
aufdiese]. Even in expecting, one leaps away from the possible and gets a 
foothold in the actual. It is for its actuality that what is expected is 
expected. By the very nature of expecting, the possible is drawn into the 
actual, arising out of the actual and returning to it. 2 

But Being towards this possibility, as Being-towards-death, is so to 
comport ourselves towards death that in this Being, and for it, death 
reveals itself as a possibility. Our terminology for such Being towards this 
possibility is "anticipation" of this possibility* But in this way of behaving 
does there not lurk a coming-close to the possible, and when one is close 
to the possible, does not its actualization emerge? In this kind of coming 
close, however, one does not tend towards concernfully making available 
something actual; but as one comes closer understanding^, the pos- 
sibility of the possible just becomes 'greater'. The closest closeness which one 
may have in Being towards death as a possibility, is as far as possible from anything 

1 'Fur ein Gespanntsein auf es vermag ein Mogliches in seinem "ob oder nicht oder 
schliesslich doch" ungehindert und ungeschmalert zu begegnen. 

2 'Auch im Erwarten liegt ein Abspringen vom Moglichen und Fussfassen im Wirk- 
lichen, dafiir das Erwartete erwartet ist. Vom Wirklichen aus und auf es zu wird das 
Mogliche in das Wirkliche erwartungsmassig hereingezogen.' 

3 «. . . Vorlaufen in die Moglichkeit. 9 While we have used 'anticipate' to translate W 
greifen', which occurs rather seldom, we shall also use it-less ^^r"^ ^wdate 
Vorlaufen', which appears very often in the following pages and which has the special 
connotation of 'running ahead'. But as Heidegger's remarks have indicated, the kind oi 
'anticipation' which is involved in Being-towards-death, does not consist m waiting tor 
death or 'dwelling upon it' or ^actualizing' it before it normally comes; nor does 
'running ahead into it' in this sense mean that we 'rush headlong into it . 

II. I Being and Time 307 

actual. The more unveiledly this possibility gets understood, the more 
purely does the understanding penetrate into it as the possibility of the 
impossibility of any existence at all. Death, as possibility, gives Dasein nothing 
to be 'actualized', nothing which Dasein, as actual, could itself be. It is 
the possibility of the impossibility of every way of comporting oneself 
towards anything, of every way of existing. In the anticipation of this 
possibility it becomes 'greater and greater' ; that is to say, the possibility 
reveals itself to be such that it knows no measure at all, no more or less, 
but signifies the possibility of the measureless impossibility of existence. 
In accordance with its essence, this possibility offers no support for 
becoming intent on something, 'picturing' to oneself the actuality which 
is possible, and so forgetting its possibility. Being-towards-death, as anti- 
cipation of possibility, is what first makes this possibility possible, and sets 
it free as possibility. 

Being-towards-death is the anticipation of a potentiality-for-Being of 
that entity whose kind of Being is anticipation itself. 1 In the anticipatory 
revealing of this potentiality-for-Being, Dasein discloses itself to itself as 
regards its uttermost possibility. But to project itself on its ownmost 
potentiality-for-Being means to be able to understand itself in the Being 
of the entity so revealed — namely, to exist. Anticipation turns out to be 
the possibility of understanding one's ownmost and uttermost potentiality- 
for-Being — that is to say, the possibility of authentic existence. The ontological 
constitution of such existence must be made visible by setting forth the 
concrete structure of anticipation of death. How are we to delimit this 
structure phenomenally? Manifestly, we must do so by determining those 
characteristics which must belong to an anticipatory disclosure so that it 
can become the pure understanding of that ownmost possibility which is 
non-relational and not to be outstripped — which is certain and, as such, 
indefinite. It must be noted that understanding does not primarily mean 
just gazing at a meaning, but rather understanding oneself in that poten- 
tiality-for-Being which reveals itself in projection. 3 ™ 11 

Death is Dasein's ownmost possibility. Being towards this possibility dis- 
closes to Dasein its ownmost potentiality-for-Being, in which its very Being is 
the issue. Here it can become manifest to Dasein that in this distinctive 
possibility of its own self, it has been wrenched away from the "they". 
This means that in anticipation any Dasein can have wrenched itself away 
from the "they" already. But when one understands that this is something 
which Dasein 'can' have done, this only reveals its factical lostness in the 
everydayness of the they-self. 

1 '. . . dessen Seinsart das Vorlaufen selbst ist.' The earlier editions have 'hat' instead 
of 'ist'. 

308 Being and Time II. i 

The ownmost possibility is non-relational. Anticipation allows Dasein to 
understand that that potentiality-for-being in which its ownmost Being is 
an issue, must be taken over by Dasein alone. Death does not just 'belong' 
to one's own Dasein in an undifferentiated way; death lays claim to it as 
an individual Dasein. The non-relational character of death, as understood 
in anticipation, individualizes Dasein down to itself. This individualizing 
is a way in which the 'there' is disclosed for existence. It makes manifest 
that all Being-alongside the things with which we concern ourselves, and 
all Being-with Others, will fail us when our ownmost potentiality-for- 
Being is the issue. Dasein can be authentically itself only if it makes this 
possible for itself of its own accord. But if concern and solicitude fail us, 
this does not signify at all that these ways of Dasein have been cut off 
from its authentically Being-its-Self. As structures essential to Dasein's 
constitution, these have a share in conditioning the possibility of any 
existence whatsoever. Dasein is authentically itself only to the extent that, 
as concernful Being-alongside and solicitous Being-with, it projects itself 
upon its ownmost potentiality-for-Being rather than upon the possibility 
of the they-self. The entity which anticipates its non-relational possibility, 
is thus forced by that very anticipation into the possibility of taking over 
from itself its ownmost Being, and doing so of its own accord. 

The ownmost, non-relational possibility is not to be outstripped. Being 
towards this possibility enables Dasein to understand that giving itself up 
impends for it as the uttermost possibility of its existence. Anticipation, 
however, unlike inauthentic Being-towards-death, does not evade the 
fact that death is not to be outstripped; instead, anticipation frees itself 
for accepting this. When, by anticipation, one becomes free for one's own 
death, one is liberated from one's lostness in those possibilities which may 
accidentally thrust themselves upon one; and one is liberated in such a 
way that for the first time one can authentically understand and choose 
among the factical possibilities lying ahead of that possibility which is 
not to be outstripped. 1 Anticipation discloses to existence that its utter- 
most possibility lies in giving itself up, and thus it shatters all one's tena- 
ciousness to whatever existence one has reached. In anticipation, Dasein 
guards itself against falling back behind itself, or behind the potentiality- 
for-Being which it has understood. It guards itself against 'becoming too 
old for its victories' (Nietzsche). Free for its ownmost possibilities, which 
are determined by the end and so are understood as finite [endliche], Dasein 
dispels the danger that it may, by its own finite understanding of existence, 
fail to recognize that it is getting outstripped by the existence-possibilities 
of Others, or rather that it may explain these possibilities wrongly and 
1 *. . . die dcr uniiberholbaren vorgelagert sind.' Sec note i, p. 303, H. 259 above. 

II. I Being and Time 309 

force them back upon its own, so that it may divest itself of its ownmost 
factical existence. As the non-relational possibility, death individualizes 
— but only in such a manner that, as the possibility which is no t to be out- 
stripped, it makes Dasein, as Being-with, have some understanding of the 
potentiality-for-Being of Others. Since anticipation of the possibility which 
is not to be outstripped discloses also all the possibilities which lie ahead 
of that possibility, this anticipation includes the possibility of taking the 
whole of Dasein in advance [Vorwegnehmens] in an existentiell manner; 
that is to say, it includes the possibility of existing as a whole potentiality- 

The ownmost, non-relational possibility, which is not to be outstripped, 
is certain. The way to be certain of it is determined by the kind of truth 
which corresponds to it (disclosedness) . The certain possibility of death, 
however, discloses Dasein as a possibility, but does so only in such a way 
that, in anticipating this possibility, Dasein makes this possibility possible for 
itself as its ownmost potentiality-for-Being. 1 The possibility is disclosed 
because it is made possible in anticipation. To maintain oneself in this 
truth — that is, to be certain of what has been disclosed — demands all 
the more that one should anticipate. We cannot compute the certainty of 
death by ascertaining how many cases of death we encounter. This 
certainty is by no means of the kind which maintains itself in the truth of 
the present-at-hand. When something present-at-hand has been un- 
covered, it is encountered most purely if we just look at the entity and let 
it be encountered in itself. Dasein must first have lost itself in the factual 
circumstances [Sachverhalte] (this can be one of care's own tasks and 
possibilities) if it is to obtain the pure objectivity — that is to say, the 
indifference — of apodictic evidence. If Being-certain in relation to death 
does not have this character, this does not mean that it is of a lower grade, 
but that it does not belong at all to the graded order of the kinds of evidence we can 
have about the present-at-hand. 

Holding death for true (death is just one's own) shows another kind of 
certainty, and is more primordial than any certainty which relates to 
entities encountered within-the-world, or to formal objects; for it is 
certain of Being-in-the-world. As such, holding death for true does not 
demand just one definite kind of behaviour in Dasein, but demands Dasein 

1 'Die gewisse Moglichkeit des Todes erschliesst das Dasein aber als Moglichkeit nur 
so, dass es vorlaufend zu ihr diese Moglichkcit als eigenstes Seinkdnnen fur sich ermog- 
lichL' While we have taken 'Die gewisse Moglichkeit des Todes* as the subject of this 
puzzling sentence, 'das Dasein* may be the subject instead. The use of the preposition 'zu* 
instead of the usual 'in' after 'vorlaufend' suggests that in 'anticipating' the possibility of 
death, Dasein is here thought of as 'running ahead' towards it or up to it rather than into it. 
When this construction occurs in later passages, we shall indicate it by subjoining 'zu' 
in brackets. 

g IO Being and Time H. * 

itself in the full authenticity of its existence.** 111 In anticipation Dasein 
can first make certain of its ownmost Being in its totality— a totality 
which is not to be outstripped. Therefore the evidential character which 
belongs to the immediate givenness of Experiences, of the "I", or of 
consciousness, must necessarily lag behind the certainty which anticipa- 
tion includes. Yet this is not because the way in which these are grasped 
would not be a rigorous one, but because in principle such a way of 
grasping them cannot hold/or true (disclosed) something which at bottom 
it insists upon 'having there' as true: namely, Dasein itself, which I 
myself am, and which, as a potentiality-for-Being, I can be authentically 
only by anticipation. 

The ownmost possibility, which is- non-relational, not to be outstripped, 
and certain, is indefinite as regards its certainty. JIow does anticipation 
disclose this characteristic of Dasein's distinctive possibility ? How does the 
anticipatory understanding project itself upon a potentiality-for-Being 
which is certain and which is constantly possible in such a way that the 
"when" in which the utter impossibility of existence becomes possible 
remains constantly indefinite? In anticipating [zum] the indefinite 
certainty of death, Dasein opens itself to a constant threat arising out of its 
own "there". In this very threat Being-towards-the-end must maintain 
itself. So little can it tone this down that it must rather cultivate the 
indefiniteness of the certainty. How is it existentially possible for this 
constant threat to be genuinely disclosed? All understanding is accom- 
panied by a state-of-mind. Dasein's mood brings it face to face with the 
thrownness of its 'that it is there'.** But the state-of-mind which can hold 
open the utter and constant threat to itself arising from Dasein's ownmost individual- 
ized Being, is anxiety** 1 In this state-of-mind, Dasein finds itself/^ to face 
with the "nothing" of the possible impossibility of its existence. Anxiety 
is anxious about the potentiality-for-Being of the entity so destined [des so 
bestimmten Seienden], and in this way it discloses the uttermost pos- 
sibility. Anticipation utterly individualizes Dasein, and allows it, in this 
individualization of itself, to become certain of the totality of its potenti- 
ality-for-Being. For this reason, anxiety as a basic state-of-mind belongs 
to such a self-understanding of Dasein on the basis of Dasein itself. 2 
Being-towards-death is essentially anxiety. This is attested unmistakably, 
though 'only' indirectly, by Being-towards-death as we have described it, 

i 'Die Befindlichkeit aber t welche die stdndige und schlechthinnige. aus dem eigensten vereinzelten 
Sein des Dasiens aufsteigende Bedrohung seiner selbst offen zu halten vermag, ist die Angst.' Notice 
that l welche y may be construed either as the subject or as the direct object of the relative 

clause kort zu diesem Sichverstehen des Daseins aus seinem Grunde die Gruhd-. 
befindlichkeit der Angst.' It is not grammatically clear whether 'seinem' refers to 'Sfch- 
verstehen > or to 'Daseins*. 

II. I Being and Time 311 

when it perverts anxiety into cowardly fear and, in surmounting this fear, 
only makes known its own cowardliness in the face of anxiety. 

We may now summarize our characterization of authentic Being- 
towards-death as we have projected it existentially: anticipation reveals to 
Dasein its lostness in the they-self and brings it face to face with the possibility of 
being itself primarily unsupported by concernful solicitude, but of being itself rather, 
in an impassioned freedom towards death — a freedom which has been released 
from the Illusions of the "they", and which is factical, certain of itself, and anxious. 

All the relationships which belong to Being-towards-death, up to the 
full content of Dasein's uttermost possibility, as we have characterized it, 
constitute an anticipation which they combine in revealing, unfolding, 
and holding fast, as that which makes this possibility possible. The existen- 
tial projection in which anticipation has been delimited, has made visible 
the ontological possibility of an existentiell Being-towards-death which is 
authentic. Therewith, however, the possibility of Dasein's having an 
authentic potentiality-for-Being-a-whole emerges, but only as an ontological 
possibility. In our existential projection of anticipation, we have of course 
clung to those structures of Dasein which we have arrived at earlier, and 
we have, as it were, let Dasein itself project itself upon this possibility, 
without holding up to Dasein an ideal of existence with any special 'con- 
tent', or forcing any such ideal upon it 'from outside'. Nevertheless, this 
existentially 'possible' Being-towards-death remains, from the existentiell 
point of view, a fantastical exaction. The fact that an authentic potentiality- 
for-Being-a-whole is ontologically possible for Dasein, signifies nothing, so 
long as a corresponding ontical potentiality-for-Being has not been demon- 
strated in Dasein itself. Does Dasein ever factically throw itself into such 
a Being-towards-death ? Does Dasein demand, even by reason of its own- 
most Being, an authentic potentiality-for-Being determined by anticipation? 

Before answering these questions, we must investigate whether to any 
extent and in any way Dasein gives testimony, from its ownmost potentiality- 
for-Being, as to a possible authenticity of its existence, so that it not only 
makes known that in an existentiell manner such authenticity is possible, 
but demands this of itself. 

The question of Dasein's authentic Being-a-whole and of its existential 
constitution still hangs in mid-air. It can be put on a phenomenal basis 
which will stand the test only if it can cling to a possible authenticity of 
its Being which is attested by Dasein itself. If we succeed in uncovering 
that attestation phenomenologically, together with what it attests, then 
the problem will arise anew as to whether the anticipation of [zum] death, 
which we have hitherto projected only in its ontological possibility, has an essential 
connection with that authentic potentiality-for-Being which has been attested. 



54. The Problem of How an Authentic Existentiell Possibility is Attested. 
What we are seeking is an authentic potentiality-for-Being of Dasein, 
which will be attested in its existentiell possibility by Dasein itself. But 
this very attestation must first be such that we can find it. If in this 
attestation, Dasein itself, as something for which authentic existence is 
possible, is to be 'given' to Dasein 'to understand', 1 this attestation will 
have its roots in Dasein's Being. So in exhibiting it phenomenologically, 
we include a demonstration that in Dasein's state of Being it has its source. 

In this attestation an authentic potentiality-for-Being-one's-Self is to be 
given us to understand. The question of the "who" of Dasein has been 
answered with the expression 'Self'. 1 Dasein's Selfhood has been defined 
formally as a way of existing, and therefore not as an entity present-at-hand. 
For the most part / myself am not the "who" of Dasein; the they-self is its 
"who". Authentic Being-one's-Self takes the definite form of an exis- 
tentiell modification of the "they"; and this modification must be 
defined existentially. 11 What does this modification imply, and what are 
the ontological conditions for its possibility? 

With Dasein's lostness in the "they", that factical potentiality-for- 
Being which is closest to it (the tasks, rules, and standards, the urgency and 
extent, of concernful and solicitous Being-in-the-world) has already been 
decided upon. The "they" has always kept Dasein from taking hold of 
these possibilities of Being. The "they" even hides the manner in which it 
has tacitly relieved Dasein of the burden of explicitly choosing these 
possibilities. It remains indefinite who has 'really' done the choosing. So 
Dasein make no choices, gets carried along by the nobody, and thus 
ensnares itself in inauthenticity. This process can be reversed only if 
Dasein specifically brings itself back to itself from its lostness in the "they". 
But this bringing-back must have that kind of Being by the neglect of which 

1 \ . . wenn sie dem Dasein cs selbst in seiner moglichen eigentlichen Existen? "zu 
verstehen geben" . . .' 

II. 2 Being and Time 313 

Dasein has lost itself in inauthenticity. When Dasein thus brings itself back 
[Das Sichzuriickholen] from the "they", the they-self is modified in an 
existentiell manner so that it becomes authentic Being-one's-Self. This must 
be accomplished by making up for not choosing [Nachholen einer Wahl\. 
But "making up" for not choosing signifies choosing to make this choice — 
deciding for a potentiality-for-Being, and making this decision from one's 
own Self. In choosing to make this choice, Dasein makes possible, first and 
foremost, its authentic potentiality-for-Being. 

But because Dasein is lost in the "they", it must first J&uf itself. In order 
to find itself at all, it must be 'shown' to itself in its possible authenticity. 
In terms of its possibility, Dasein is already a potentiality-for-Being-its-Self, 
but it needs to have this potentiality attested. 

In the following Interpretation we shall claim that this potentiality is 
attested by that which, in Dasein's everyday interpretation of itself, is 
familiar to us as the "voice of conscience" [Stimme des Gewissens]. m That the 
very 'fact' of conscience has been disputed, that its function as a higher 
court for Dasein's existence has been variously assessed, and that 'what 
conscience says' has been interpreted in manifold ways — all this might 
only mislead us into dismissing this phenomenon if the very 'doubtfulness' 
of this Fact — or of the way in which it has been interpreted — did not prove 
that here a primordial phenomenon of Dasein lies before us. In the following 
analysis conscience will be taken as something which we have in advance 
theoretically, and it will be investigated in a purely existential mannner, 
with fundamental ontology as our aim. 

We shall first trace conscience back to its existential foundations and 
structures and make it visible as a phenomenon of Dasein, holding fast 
to what we have hitherto arrived at as that entity's state of Being. Tl^ 
ontological analysis of conscience on which we are thus embarking, is 
prior to any description and classification of Experiences of conscience, 
and likewise lies outside of any biological'explanation' of this phenomenon 
(which would mean its dissolution). But it is no less distant from a theo- 
logical exegesis of conscience or any employment of this phenomenon for 
proofs of God or for establishing an 'immediate' consciousness of God. 

Nevertheless, even when our investigation of conscience is thus re- 
stricted, we must neither exaggerate its outcome nor make perverse claims 
about it and lessen its worth. As a phenomenon of Dasein, conscience is 
not just a fact which occurs and is occasionally present-at-hand. It 'is' 
only in Dasein's kind of Being, and it makes itself known as a Fact only 
with factical existence and in it. The demand that an 'inductive empirical 
proof should be given for the 'factuality' of conscience and for the 
legitimacy of its 'voice', rests upon an ontological perversion of the 

314 Being and Time II. 2 

phenomenon. This perversion, however, is one that is shared by every 
"superior" criticism in which conscience is taken as something just 
occurring from time to time rather than as a 'universally established and 
ascertainable fact'. Among such proofs and counterproofs, the Fact of 
conscience cannot present itself at all. This is no lack in it, but merely a 
sign by which we can recognize it as ontologically of a different kind from 
what is environmentally present-at-hand. 

Conscience gives us 'something' to understand; it discloses. By 
characterizing this phenomenon formally in this way, we find ourselves 
enjoined to take it back into the disclosedness of Dasein. This disclosedness, 
as a basic state of that entity which we ourselves are, is constituted by 
state-of-mind, understanding, falling, and discourse. If we analyse con- 
science more penetratingly, it is revealed as a call [Ruf], Galling is a mode 
of discourse. The call of conscience has the character of an appeal to Dasein 
by calling it to its ownmost potentiality-for-Being-its-Self; and this is 
done by way of summoning it to its ownmost Being-guilty. 1 

This existential Interpretation is necessarily a far cry from everyday 
ontical common sense, though it sets forth the ontological foundations of 
what the ordinary way of interpreting conscience has always understood 
within certain limits and has conceptualized as a 'theory' of conscience. 
Accordingly our existential Interpretation needs to be confirmed by a 
critique of the way in which conscience is ordinarily interpreted. When 
this phenomenon has been exhibited, we can bring out the extent to which 
it attests an authentic potentiality-for-Being of Dasein. To the call of 
conscience there corresponds a possible hearing. Our understanding of 
the appeal unveils itself as our wanting to have a conscience [Gewissenhaben- 
wolleri]. But in this phenomenon lies that existentiell choosing which we 
seek — the choosing to choose a kind of Being-one 5 s-Self which, in accord- 
ance with its existential structure, we call "resoluteness", 2 Thus we can see 
how the analyses of this chapter are divided up: the existential-onto- 

1 'Der Gewissensruf hat den Charakter des Anrufs des Daseins auf sein eigenstes Selb- 
stseinkonnen und das in der Weise des Auf ruf s zum eigensten Schuldigsein.' Our transla- 
tion of 'Anruf 1 as 'appeal* and of 'Aufruf ' as 'summoning* conceals the etymological 
connection of these expressions with 'Ruf', which we here translate as 'call* — a word which 
we have already used in translating expressions such as 'nennen', 'heissen', and a number 
of others. The verb 'anrufen' ('appeal*) means literally 'to call to*; 'einen auf etwas 
anrufen* means 'to call to someone and call him to something'. Similarly 'au/rufen' 
('summon') means 'to call up*; 'einen zu etwas aw/rufen' means 'to call someone up to 
something which he is to do', in the sense of challenging him or 'calling' him to a higher 
level of performance. 

2 '. . . das gesuchte existenzielle Wahlen der Wahl eines Selbstseins, das wir, seiner 
existentialen Struktur entsprechend, die Entschlossenheit nennen.' While our version 
preserves the grammatical ambiguity of the German, it seems clear from H. 298 that the 
antecedent of the second relative clause is 'Selbstsein* ('a kind of Being-one's-self '), not 
'Wahlen' ('choosing'). 

II. 2 Being and Time 315 

logical foundations of conscience (Section 55); the character of conscience 
as a call (Section 56); conscience as the call of care (Section 57); under- 
standing the appeal, and guilt (Section 58) ; the existential Interpretation 
of conscience and the way conscience is ordinarily interpreted (Section 
59) ; the existential structure of the authentic potentiality-for-Being which 
is attested in the conscience (Section 60). 

f 55. The Existential-ontological Foundations of Conscience 

In the phenomenon of conscience we find, without further differentia- 
tion, that in some way it gives us something to understand. Our analysis 
of it takes its departure from this finding. Conscience discloses, and thus 
belongs within the range of those existential phenomena which constitute 
the Being of the "there" as disclosedness. iv We have analysed the most 
universal structures of state-of-mind, understanding, discourse and falling. 
If we now bring conscience into this phenomenal context, this is not a 
matter of applying these structures schematically to a special 'case 5 of 
Dasein's disclosure. On the contrary, our Interpretation of conscience not 
only will carry further our earlier analysis of the disclosedness of the 
"there", but it will also grasp it more primordially with regard to 
Dasein's authentic Being. 

Through disclosedness, that entity which we call "Dasein" is in the 
possibility of being its "there". With its world, it is there for itself, and 
indeed — proximally and for the most part — in such a way that it has 
disclosed to itself its potentiality-for-Being in terms of the 'world' of its 
concern. Dasein exists as a potentiality-for-Being which has, in each case, 
already abandoned itself to definite possibilities. 1 And it has abandoned 
itself to these possibilities because it is an entity which has been thrown, 
and an entity whose thrownness gets disclosed more or less plainly and 
impressively by its having a mood. To any state-of-mind or mood, under- 
standing belongs equiprimordially. In this way Dasein 'knows' what it is 
itself capable of [woran es mit ihm selbst ist], inasmuch as it has either 
projected itself upon possibilities of its own or has been so absorbed in the 
"they" that it has let such possibilities be presented to it by the way in 
which the "they" has publicly interpreted things. The presenting of these 
possibilities, however, is made possible existentially through the fact 
that Dasein, as a Being-with which understands, can listen to Others. 
Losing itself in the publicness and the idle talk of the "they", it fails to hear 
[Uberhort] its own Self in listening to the they-self. If Dasein is to be able 
to get brought back from this lostness of failing to hear itself, and if this 
is to be done through itself, then it must first be able to find itself— to find 

1 'Das Seinkonnen, als welches das Dasein existiert, hat sich je schon bestimmten 
Moglichkeiten uberlassen.' 

316 Being and Time II. 2 

itself as something which has failed to hear itself, and which fails to hear 
in that it listens away to the "they". 1 This listening-away must get broken 
off; in other words, the possibility of another kind of hearing which 
will interrupt it, must be given by Dasein itself. 2 The possibility of its 
thus getting broken off lies in its being appealed to without mediation. 
Dasein fails to hear itself, and listens away to the "they"; and this 
listening-away gets broken by the call if that call, in accordance with its 
character as such, arouses another kind of hearing, which, in relationship 
to the hearing that is lost, 3 has a character in every way opposite. If in 
this lost hearing, one has been fascinated with the 'hubbub' of the manifold 
ambiguity which idle talk possesses in its everyday 'newness', then the call 
must do its calling without any hubbub and unambiguously, leaving 
no foothold for curiosity. That which, by calling in this manner, gives us to 
understand, is the conscience. 

We take calling as a mode of discourse. Discourse articulates 
intelligibility. Characterizing conscience as a call is not just giving a 
'picture', like the Kantian representation of the conscience as a court of 
justice. Vocal utterance, however, is not essential for discourse, and there- 
fore not for the call either; this must not be overlooked. Discourse is 
already presupposed in any expressing or 'proclaiming' ["Ausrufen"] . 
If the everyday interpretation knows a 'voice' of conscience, then one is 
not so much thinking of an utterance (for this is something which facti- 
cally one never comes across) ; the 'voice' is taken rather as a giving-to- 
understand. In the tendency to disclosure which belongs to the call, lies 
the momentum of a push — of an abrupt arousal, llie call is from afar unto 
afar. It reaches him who wants to be brought back. 

But by this characterization of the conscience we have only traced the 
phenomenal horizon for analysing its existential structure. We are not 

1 \ . . sich selbst, das sichiiberhort hat unduberhort im Hinhoren auf das Man.' In this 
passage, Heidegger has been exploiting three variations on the verb'horen': 'hdren auf. . .' 
(our 'listen to . . .'), 'uberhdren' ('fail to hear'), and 'hinhoren' ('listen away'). The 
verb 'iiberhoren' has two quite distinct uses. It may mean the 'hearing' which a teacher 
does when he 'hears' a pupil recite his lesson; but it may also mean to 'fail to hear', even 
to 'ignore' what one hears. This is the meaning which Heidegger seems to have uppermost 
in mind; but perhaps he is also suggesting that when one is lost in the "they", one 'hears' 
one's own Self only in the manner of a perfunctory teacher who 'hears' a recitation with- 
out 'really listening to it'. In ordinary German the verb 'hinhoren' means hardly more 
than to 'listen'; but Heidegger is emphasizing the prefix 'hin-', which suggests that one is 
listening to something other than oneself—listening away, in this case listening to the 
"they". On other verbs of hearing and listening, see Section 34 above, especially H. 163 ff. 

* 'Dieses Hinhoren muss gebrochen, das heisst es muss vom Dasein selbst die Moglich- 
keit eines Horens gegeben werden, das jenes unterbricht.' 

8 . . zum verlorenen Hdren . . .' One might suspect that the 'lost hearing' is the hearing 
which one 'loses' by 'failing to hear'; but Heidegger may mean rather the kind of hearing 
one does when one is lost in the "they" — 'Cberhoren' of one's own Self and 'Hinhoren' to 
the •they'. 

II. 2 Being and Time 317 

comparing this phenomenon with a call; we are understanding it 
as a kind of discourse — in terms of the disclosedness that is constitutive 
for Dasein. In considering this we have from the beginning avoided 
the first route which offers itself for an Interpretation of conscience 
— that of tracing it back to some psychical faculty such as under- 
standing, will, or feeling, or of explaining it as some sort of mixture of 
these. When one is confronted with such a phenomenon as conscience, 
one is struck by the ontologico-anthropological inadequacy of a free-floating 272 
framework of psychical faculties or personal actions all duly classified.^ 

% 56. The Character of Conscience as a Call 

To any discourse there belongs that which is talked about in it. Dis- 
course gives information about something, and does so in some definite 
regard. From what is thus talked about, it draws whatever it is saying as 
this particular discourse — what is said in the talk as such. In discourse as 
communication, this becomes accessible to the Dasein-with of Others, 
for the most part by way of uttering it in language. 

In the call of conscience, what is it that is talked about — in other words, 
to what is the appeal made? Manifestly Dasein itself. This answer is as 
incontestable as it is indefinite. If the call has so vague a target, then it 
might at most remain an occasion for Dasein to pay attention to itself. 
But it is essential to Dasein that along with the disclosedness of its world 
it has been disclosed to itself, so that it always understands itself. The call 
reaches Dasein in this understanding of itself which it always has, and 
which is concernful in an everyday, average manner. The call reaches 
the they-self of concernful Being with Others. 

And to what is one called when one is thus appealed to? 1 To one's 273 
own Self Not to what Dasein countsfcr, can do, or concerns itself with in 
being with one another publicly, nor to what it has taken hold of, set 
about, or let itself be carried along with. The sort of Dasein which is 
understood after the manner of the world both for Others and for itself, 
gets passed over in this appeal; this is something of which the call to the 
Self takes not the slightest cognizance. And because only the Self of the 
they-self gets appealed to and brought to hear, the "they" collapses. But 
the fact that the call passes over both the "they" and the manner in which 
Dasein has been publicly interpreted, does not by any means signify that 
the "they" is not reached too. Precisely in passing over the "they" (keen as it 
is for public repute) the call pushes it into insignificance [Bedeutungs- 
losigkeit]. But the Self, which the appeal has robbed of this lodgement 
and hiding-place, gets brought to itself by the call. 

1 'Und woraufhin wird es angerufen?' 

318 Being and Time II. 2 

When the they-self is appealed to, it gets called to the Self. 1 But it does 
not get called to that Self which can become for itself an 'object 5 on which 
to pass judgment, nor to that Self which inertly dissects its 'inner life' 
with fussy curiosity, nor to that Self which one has in mind when one 
gazes 'analytically' at psychical conditions and what lies behind them. 
The appeal to the Self in the they-self does not force it inwards upon itself, 
so that it can close itself off from the 'external world'. The call passes over 
everything like this and disperses it, so as to appeal solely to that Self 
which, notwithstanding, is in no ot